The Fulham Shore PLC’s (LON:FUL) share price advanced 4.7% in early deals to 16.75p after an encouraging trading update.
The company said 70 of its 72 Franco Manca and The Real Greek restaurants were open for business in one form or another (al-fresco dining, delivery or collection).
Currently, 37 out of the 52 operational Franco Manca pizzeria and 16 out of the 18 operational The Real Greek restaurants have outside tables, the restaurateur revealed.
Group sales in the week ended Sunday April 18 were described as “very encouraging”; not only were they up on the previous week but also better than in the same week in 2019, when the word “pandemic” was still largely thought of as a halfway decent score in Scrabble.
The group continues to identify potential new locations for its two businesses. In the last two weeks, it has inspected sites in many towns and cities across the UK including London, York, Durham, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff, Liverpool and Manchester, for either new or additional sites.
Many of these sites previously housed restaurants that have gone out of business during the various lockdowns. Sites of this nature have a lower opening cost to the group compared to shell units and as such Fulham Shore expects to see a reduction in the group’s average capital expenditure per new site in the short term, and that this should improve its return on capital.
“The board believes that the next few months may be the most exciting in the group’s short history and looks forward to opening our restaurants fully once permitted and capitalising on the property opportunities that are being presented to us,” the company’s trading statement concluded.