It is thin pickings on the corporate front this morning but results from Restaurant Group have given investors something to chew over.
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Restaurant Group, owner of chains including Frankie & Benny’s and Joe’s Kitchen, is to scrap a slew of outlets after serving up a pre-tax loss in the first half.
The company will axe 33 underperforming outlets, a move that contributed to a £59.1m impairment charge. This, combined with a 3.9 per cent slide in like-for-like sales in the 27 weeks to July 3, pushed it into a pre-tax loss of £22.5m, compared with a profit of £38m in the same period last year. Following a strategy review, the company is focusing on making Frankie & Benny’s more attractive to families,
You will recall it has been quite an eventful month for the group. Two weeks ago it parted company with its chief executive Danny Breithaupt, who had been at the helm for two years. Andy McCue, previously of Paddy Power, will take over in September.
Elsewhere, Speedy Hire, the UK tool rental company that is embroiled in a tussle with its largest shareholder, has sold a fleet of large mechanical equipment for £14.4m. Proceeds from the sale of excavators and dumper trucks will be used to pay down debt.
Speedy Hire has been involved in a lengthy row – of which more here – with Toscafund, as the activist shareholder seeks the removal of the company’s executive chairman, Jan Åstrand.
The main thing on the agenda this Friday is the hotly-anticipated speech from Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve chair, at the annual gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The speech, entitled “The Federal Reserve’s Monetary Policy Toolkit”, will be picked over for any hints as to when the central bank will next raise interest rates. Bank of England deputy governor Minouche Shafik is also due to speak.
For those missing the excitement of the Rio Olympics, we recommend this look at Chinese investment in European football. Chinese tycoons have invested more than $2bn in European football clubs since the start of last year, but will this change the beautiful game for the better?
Have a productive Friday and excellent bank holiday weekend.
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