Wagamama acquisition helps surge in sales at the start of 2019 for owners The Restaurant Group

The Restaurant Group, which owns Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito, has reported a surge in sales at the start of 2019, helped by its acquisition of Wagamama.

The The FTSE 250-listed group reported a 2.8% jump in group like-for-like sales in the 19 weeks to May 12 ahead of its annual general meeting (AGM).

Total sales surged 57% over the period as it continued to benefit from the Wagamama restaurant chain, that it bought for £550 million last year and which has 134 outlets across the UK.

The company said that it also benefited from a record number of new pubs and concessions sites opening in 2018.

The group’s deal to purchase Wagamama sparked controversy, with more than 40% of its shareholders opposing the move.

This comes on the back of news that the Wagamama chain has outperformed the UK market every week for the past five years according to an industry sales tracker.

The Coffer Peach Business Tracker, which monitors sales from 39 operating groups across the pub, bar and restaurant sector, revealed the chain performed ahead of the market average for the past 260 weeks.

Sales at the company grew by 9.7% in the 40 weeks up to February 3 2019, it said.

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