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Sales beat expectations at Franco Manca owner after virus curbs ease

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The owner of pizza chain Franco Manca has said strong customer numbers since the easing of pandemic restrictions have helped drive it to better-than-expected sales and earnings.

Shares in The Fulham Shore, which also owns the Real Greek restaurant brand, increased on Monday.

The company said positive momentum and new openings mean revenues jumped back to around pre-pandemic levels.

Bosses therefore expect that revenues and earnings before tax “will be ahead of last year’s figures and comfortably ahead of market expectations” for the year to March 27.

Fulham Shore said it expects revenues of about £73.4 million for the year, and earnings of £16.5 million.

The group added that it witnessed cost increases throughout the year across transport and raw materials due to the impact of pandemic disruption.

It said it has therefore made “small price increases” to help offset this inflationary pressure.

Fulham Shore said the opening of a raft of new restaurants, taking it to 82 sites across both brands, has helped drive growth.

“The group also made excellent progress against its UK expansion plans by opening 10 new restaurants, including Franco Manca pizzeria in Blackheath and Baker Street in London, and sites in Bishop’s Stortford and Cheltenham,” it said.

“The Real Greek opened three new restaurants in Bluewater, Kent, Corn Exchange, Manchester and The Trafford Centre, Manchester, all of which opened in the second half, were received very well by customers and have enjoyed strong trading momentum since opening.”

The company also said it plans to open 18 more restaurants across Franco Manca and The Real Greek by the end of the current financial year.

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