Rockfish in the process of completing a £3m fundraise and return to expansion following ‘difficult year’

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Rockfish in the process of completing a £3m fundraise

Related tags Rockfish Casual dining mitch tonks R200 Restaurant Seafood expansion Fundraising

Rockfish is returning to the expansion trail and in the process of completing a £3m fundraise following a ‘difficult year’ that saw it swing to a £876,000 loss.

The South West-based seafood restaurant group is preparing to launch sites in Salcombe, Sidmouth and Topsham, which will bring its estate to 11.

All three restaurants were originally announced back in 2022​, but the group subsequently paused new openings amid challenging macro-economic conditions.

According to Rockfish’s latest accounts covering the year ended 30 April 2023, the group saw sales increase from £13.4m to £13.6m, which it says reflects its ‘enduring appeal to customers’ across both its restaurants and wholesale/retail seafood business.

However, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) dropped from £2.6m to £1.94m, with group EBITDA down from £992,000 to £84,000, which it attributes to food, wage and energy inflation, as well as successive base rate rises that increased the group’s interest charges by 33%.

“2022/23 was a difficult year,” says Mitch Tonks, founder and CEO of Rockfish.

“The inflationary challenges in particular felt relentless.

“I am extremely proud of how the company rose to meet those challenges and believe we will be stronger for it in the near and long-term.”

To support its expansion, Rockfish is in the process of completing a £3m fundraise that it says was ‘materially oversubscribed’ by existing shareholders and institutional investors.

“With recent confidence low in our sector I am delighted that Rockfish was oversubscribed in our fund-raising with support from existing and new shareholders,” Tonks continues.

“Rockfish is a strong brand with a unique offer, and I feel we have re-gained the momentum we had in 2019.Our three new openings and the commercial advantages of our supply chain will see sales, profitability and the estate grow in the coming year.”

Alongside the openings already confirmed, the group also reports that it is in legals on a fourth new site that will be announced in due course.

The headline on this story has been changed to reflect that Rockfish is in the process of completing on a £3m fundraise, rather than that it was planning a £3m fundraise, as previously stated.

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