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Tortilla swings to 2022 loss despite record year of site openings

27th Mar 2023 10:26

(Alliance News) - Tortilla Mexican Grill PLC on Monday said it has swing to an annual loss, amid heightened food and energy costs.

The London-based fast-food Mexican restaurant chain said it swung to an annual loss of GBP928,549 in the year ended January 1, compared to a profit of GBP2.3 million the year before.

Tortilla explained that this was a result of unprecedented food and energy inflation due to the war in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, revenue was up 20% to GBP57.7 million from GBP48.1 million in 2022, Tortilla said, which was driven by a "record year" of new site openings in the likes of Lincoln, Coventry, Canterbury and Leicester.

The company also said its strategic acquisition of eight Chilango restaurants strengthened its market position, with five restaurants being converted to the Tortilla brand.

Tortilla chose not to declare a dividend for financial 2022, unchanged from last year. The company said its group capital will be focused on growth in the coming years, with its dividend policy subject to re-assesment.

Looking ahead, Tortilla said it will continue to explore new franchise sites to "enhance diversity of locations" through the expansion of its existing partnership with Compass Group. It said it also has planned future openings at rail stations with SSP Group.

The company will also focus on technology investments to strengthen customer service and to support Tortilla's growth strategy and customer loyalty.

Chief Executive Officer Richard Morris said: "The beginning of 2023 has started well with like-for-like sales up 4% in the 8 weeks to 26 February. We know that restaurants that offer great, consistent food at competitive price points will always be the winners in our sector, and we are confident that we sit very comfortably in this space. We remain highly motivated and excited about Tortilla's continued growth potential in the UK as well as our opportunities to build on our proven franchise operations to expand overseas."

The announcement of Tortilla's annual results comes as the company's Senior Independent Director Laurence Keen announced that he would step down after its annual general meeting. The AGM is scheduled in May.

Tortilla said Keen is departing to lead the Hollywood Bowl Group PLC expansion in Canada. The company has started the rerecruitment process for a new non-executive director.

Shares were trading flat at 120.00 pence in London on Monday morning.

By Sabrina Penty; Alliance News reporter

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