TRG chairman Ken Hanna to step down

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

TRG chairman Ken Hanna to step down

Related tags The restaurant group Casual dining Multi-site R200 Wagamama

The Restaurant Group (TRG) has announced that its chairman, Ken Hanna, is to step down.

In a statement released this morning (8 September), the casual dining operator, which counts the Wagamama, Frankie & Benny's and Chiquito brands among its portfolio, said that Hanna had informed the company of his intention not to seek re-election at the group’s next AGM during 2024 due to ‘personal reasons’.

The board will now initiate a comprehensive search process to identify a new chairman and will update the market as and when appropriate.

Hanna will remain with TRG as chairman until his successor is appointed in order to allow for an orderly handover.

The news comes amid an ongoing period of investor pressure for TRG, which has seen Hanna become a focus for criticism alongside CEO Andy Hornby.

Back in July, New York-based investor Irenic Capital Management, which has a 2.4% stake in the group, called on the company’s board to replace Hanna​, accusing him of having a ‘documented disregard for the best interests of all shareholders’.

There is no indication Hanna’s decision to step down is related to pressure from investors.

Indeed, the announcement comes just two days after TRG reported strong like-for-like (LFL) sales growth for the first half of the year​ (H1).

The interim results showed group revenue up 10% and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) up by 15%, driven by TRG’s Wagamama, pubs, and airport-based concessions divisions.

The group also announced a moderate increase in management's adjusted EBITDA expectations for the 2023 financial year, and strong early progress in executing its medium-term plan.

Commenting on his decision to step down, Hanna said: “It has been a privilege to work at TRG and I will be leaving the company in great shape with the business trading really strongly, outperforming the market and making good progress on its strategic options.

“I would like to thank the board and management team as well as our brilliant colleagues across the business for their great work and support during my time with TRG. I wish them and the group much continued success.”

Hornby added: “On behalf of the board I would like to thank Ken for his outstanding contribution to the business.

“He has been an exceptional chairman and a hugely valued colleague during a critically important period for TRG as we have successfully recovered from the Covid pandemic and made good progress with our strategy.

“Ken’s leadership of the board will be greatly missed by all his colleagues at TRG and we wish him well.”

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