Fulham Shore shares (LON: FUL) were 7.5% lower on Friday morning after the group swung into a loss for the six months ended 27 September 2020.
The restaurant owner, which owns Franco Manca and The Real Greek restaurants, posted a £3.9m loss compared to a £0.4m profit for the same period a year previously. Revenue at the group was down 45% to £19.9m.
As the majority of locations were closed in Tier 3 locations and all locations were forced to close amid the November lockdown, Fulham Shore is on the hunt for cheaper rent for future expansion.
David Page, Chairman of Fulham Shore, said: “We are pleased to have delivered a creditable performance during the first half of the current financial year despite all Franco Manca and The Real Greek restaurants being closed to dine-in customers for more than half the period. The Group generated positive Headline EBITDA during the second quarter (July to September) reflecting the popularity of our businesses and their great value proposition.
“The ongoing damage to the property and restaurant sectors will allow us to prospect for new sites at much reduced rents and lower capital costs per site. As such, over the next few years and once normal trading conditions return, we will target a higher return on capital than we have historically achieved.
“Following the period end, on 5 November 2020 most of our restaurants closed again to dine-in customers following the UK Government’s second national lockdown. These restaurants were then permitted to re-open on 2 December 2020 to dine-in customers, with certain restrictions. However, as at the date of this report and from 16 December 2020, the majority of our estate is once again closed to dine-in customers as London entered Tier 3 restrictions, while Surrey and Berkshire will enter Tier 3 restrictions from 19 December 2020. The situation is fluid and changes frequently and with little notice,” added Page.