Good growth in sales and profit and continued progress against strategic priorities
- Turnover grew by 15.9% to £267.2m (H1 2014/15: £230.6m)
- UK and Ireland like-for-like sales increased by 0.5%
- EBITDA 3.0% ahead of last year at £56.4m (H1 2014/15: £54.7m)
- Estate continued to grow, with 13 new site openings in the UK and 12 internationally
- Autumn seasonal menu and introduction of Christmas specials were well received by customers
- Retail business continued to trade well, pizzas and breads continue to grow ahead of market both in volume and value
- Strong growth of PizzaExpress Delivered since its launch in September, paving the way for a national roll-out programme – our first standalone site in Exeter opened on 7 March
- Acquired Firezza, a leading gourmet pizza delivery company with 17 sites across London
- New chicken restaurant, Reys, successfully opened in Cambridge. Initial performance is encouraging and customer feedback has been very positive
- International business continues to demonstrate strong growth potential, driven by last year’s
- acquisition of the previously franchised businesses in China and UAE
Richard Hodgson, Chief Executive of PizzaExpress, commented:
“Despite a more challenging market backdrop, PizzaExpress has performed well in the first half of the year and the developments in our new delivery offer and the initial success of Reys have been particularly exciting.
“Overall in the first half, I am pleased to report that group turnover grew to £267.2m and EBITDA to £56.4m.
“In the UK and Ireland, like-for-like sales increased 0.5% and we have successfully opened 13 new restaurants in the first half. Our performance outside London was broad based across the UK and continued to be driven by an increase in number of covers.
“Customer-led innovation is a core part of our business as we wish to inspire customers with exciting new dishes. Our seasonal Autumn menu was well received, as was our introduction of Christmas specials, including the much talked-about Brussel Sprout pizza.
“Our retail business continued to trade well, with pizzas and bread continuing to grow ahead of the market in both volume and value.
“PizzaExpress Delivered, which we have trialled in two London sites since September last year, has seen encouraging growth which has paved the way for a national roll-out programme. In addition, I am excited to say that we have acquired Firezza, a leading gourmet pizza delivery company with 17 sites across London.
“Our new chicken restaurant, Reys, successfully opened in Cambridge in October 2015 and has been performing well. Response from customers has also been extremely positive.
“Internationally, I am pleased to say we have opened a further 12 sites. The development of our international business remains a key part of our long term strategy and we have invested in building a strong foundation for the future, following last year’s acquisitions of the previously franchised businesses in China and the UAE.”