Nando’s swings to profit as chicken restaurant craze shows no sign of abating

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chicken

Nando's saw turnover increase from £33.8m to 419.6m in the year to 26 February 2012
Nando's saw turnover increase from £33.8m to 419.6m in the year to 26 February 2012
Nando’s, the fast-casual Portuguese chicken restaurant chain, made a £14.7m pre-tax profit in the year to 26 February 2012, marking a strong turnaround from a loss of £7.1m the previous year and bolstering the group’s reported plans to open up to another 100 sites in the UK.

The Capricorn Ventures-backed chain saw turnover rise from £33.8m to 419.6m, with group operating profit climbing from £19.6m to £41.8m. The year saw the Nandos’ estate also increase from 295 restaurants to 313, including 53 GBK units.

The Nando’s core brand operated 260 sites at the year end and has added a further 11 to date so far as its looks to reach a reported target of 400 Nando’s restaurants in the UK.

While the fast-casual dining chain is still at the top of the pecking order when it comes to chicken-led concepts, a recent flurry of poultry-based concepts​is showing no signs of abating with a number of new openings. The outbreak in London includes Soho House’s rotisserie-style Chicken Shop​in Kentish Town; The Tramshed​in Shoreditch, which serves a limited menu of roast chickens and steak; and Rita’s Bar & Dining in Stoke Newington, where chicken wings and a fried chicken sandwich feature.  

Hen party

Meanwhile, Wishbone opened late last month in Brixton Market and soon-to-open concepts include Canteen chef and co-founder Cass Titcombe’s Roost,Chooks​in Muswell Hill, and Clockjack Oven​in central London. And the Hen Party is beginning to spread outside of London, with The Flat Chicken​coming to roost in Stratford-upon-Avon next month.

But Nando’s is still topping the eating out popularity stakes, with more people choosing to eat at one of its sites than at any other major restaurant or pub brand. 

Figures from the latest Peach BrandTrack research​show that, when asked which would be their first choice to eat, if all were in the same location, 10.8 per cent of consumers picked Nando’s from a list of 15 leading pub and casual dining brands.

The company said that performance at restaurant level had been 'extremely good' in 2010/11 having made 'significant and exciting progress'. During the previous year it acquired a 70 per cent holding in GBK Restaurants​(formerly the Clapham House Group).

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