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Tasty swings to operating loss amid 'challenging' conditions

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Wednesday 20 Mar 2019

(Sharecast News) - Tasty saw its shares slump on Wednesday as the owner of the Wildwood and Dim T restaurant chains said it swung to a loss in the year to 30 December amid challenging conditions.
The company made an operating loss of £0.37m versus a profit of £1.24m the year before as revenue fell 6% to £47.28m, partly due to the closure of some sites and partly due to a like-for-like drop. Meanwhile, adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation declined to £1.58m from £3.5m in 2017.

Tasty said market conditions remained "extremely challenging", while unfavourable weather and the World Cup also impacted its 2018 performance.

"The exceptionally cold and snowy winter supressed sales. During the World Cup and an unusually hot summer, customers favoured wet-led establishments and outside seating. Trading over the Christmas period was positive, though the uncertainty of Brexit has meant that 2019 has started slowly," said chairman Keith Lassman.

He added that the challenging conditions continue to affect the casual dining sector as evidenced by the well-publicised closures across the market and on the high street.

The company said there are a number of sites it is still planning to dispose of and at present the board has no plans to open any new sites this year, with management focused on restructuring and improving profitability from the existing portfolio.

Tasty said Brexit continues to create a high level of uncertainty across the economy.

"Continued deterioration in consumer confidence due to future economic conditions could have a detrimental impact on the group in terms of footfall and sales. To mitigate this risk we continue to invest and renew our offer whilst maintaining accessibility without compromising quality or the customer experience."

At 1135 GMT, the shares were down 23% to 6.55p.

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