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10 Mar 2021 | 07:40

Wagamama owner Restaurant Group to raise £175m as losses widen

(Sharecast News) - Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group said it aimed to raise £175m as it looked to bolster its balance sheet as it reported wider losses due to coronavirus lockdowns. The company on Wednesday said total sales plunged 57% to £459.8m last year as restaurants were shuttered. Pre-tax losses came in at £127.6m from a loss of £37.3m.

TRG, which also owns Frankie & Benny's, said that while the performance of its delivery and click-and-collect services had been "extremely encouraging", its near-term outlook remains "uncertain with trading disrupted" as the shutdown persists.

It added that the extra cash would provide headroom to protect against any resurgence of the pandemic and allow the company to "selectively" expand its Wagamama brand and pubs business where TRG expected "good and profitable opportunities". It will also use proceeds to pay down its debt.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has presented enormous challenges for our sector but the TRG team has responded decisively to restructure our business whilst preserving the maximum number of long-term roles for our colleagues," said chief executive Andy Hornby.

"Whilst the sector outlook remains uncertain, and we are mindful of continuing restrictions across the UK, we are confident that the actions announced today will allow us to emerge as one of the long-term winners."
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