,UK

Pizza Express eyes 50 more restaurants in post-pandemic bounce back

Last year, the chain completed a CVA that resulted in the closure of 73 restaurants with the loss of 1,100 jobs.

Pizza Express is “well underway” with a three-year programme to open 50 more sites, according to its chief executive.

The firm said sales since the start of the financial year in January to September 5 reached £182.5 million, with underlying profits of £22.2 million. It concluded a £335 million refinancing in July this year after it was taken over by bondholders, with former Wagamama boss David Campbell coming in to help lead a turnaround plan.

Campbell said that the company “traded strongly“ through its delivery and click and collect services during the latest lockdown.

“With a strong balance sheet under new ownership and management, we will continue to drive investment to grow the brand above and beyond new openings and refurbishments. As long as we can keep trading without restrictions in the UK & Ireland for the rest of 2021, we anticipate a continuation of good trading for the rest of the year and are optimistic about prospects for 2022 and beyond,” he said.

Being one of the businesses that had to temporarily close sites for indoor dining during the height of the COVID-19 crisis in the UK last year, the firm completed a Company Voluntary Arrangement, resulting in the closure of 73 restaurants with the loss of 1,100 jobs.

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