,UK

Pizza Express completes £335m refinancing

It had hired 1,000 new staff members to help drive its rebound following the pandemic.

Pizza Express confirmed it had sealed a £335 million refinancing deal and hailed “strong” trading after reopening its restaurants.

The pizza chain concluded its long-term financing plan, consisting of five-year bonds, and said it was now a “fitter” company after emerging from COVID-19 lockdowns.

The announcement comes after a challenging year for the restaurant group, which saw it cut more than 2,000 jobs and close 73 sites.

Chief executive David Campbell, who joined the business in November and previously led Wagamama, described the past year as “transformational” amidst changes.

“We took the opportunity during lockdown to focus on improving parts of our business which were still open — specifically dine-out and retail — and our teams have done a brilliant job,” he said. “In delivery, we renewed our partnership with Deliveroo and with our increased operational focus and additional marketing, have outperformed the Deliveroo Index every week this year.”

“We are very excited about the future on the back of strong results in the first half of 2021, the elimination of third-party discounting, and an exciting pipeline of initiatives for the rest of 2021 and beyond,” he added.

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