The group, which operates around 220 sites across the UK under the Ask Italian, Zizzi and Coco di Mama restaurant brands, saw total revenue for year ending 30 June 2023 rise by 9% from £235.9m to £258m.
EBITDA fell from £25m to £14.3m, reflecting a fall of 43%. However, Azzurri notes that last year’s figure included a one-off VAT benefit of £13.2m and when adjusted to reflect that this year’s EBITDA is up 21%.
All three brands delivered ‘strong trading performances’ with like-for-like revenue and spend per head increases.
Additionally, the group notes that ‘successful management’ of its cost base against a high inflationary backdrop, provided through partnership approach with suppliers and menu innovation, has returned margins back to pre-Covid levels.
“2023 has been a strong year for Azzurri with growth in revenues and VAT-adjusted profits,” says Stephen Holmes, CEO of Azzurri Group.
“Key to this performance has been our continued investment in our restaurants and stores, the development of sector-leading technology to optimise our offer, the transformation of Coco di Mama into a national delivery brand, and a relentless focus on efficiency to protect our value proposition.
“Most of all, however, it has been driven by the hard work and dedication of the teams in each of our businesses.”
The publication of Azzurri’s results follows reports in December that the group’s owner, Towerbrook Capital Partners, had begun talks with investment bankers to auction the business.
Azzurri adds that it is seeing ‘positive momentum’ going forwards, with strong revenue growth forecast in the year to June 2024 and a double-digit EBITDA margin.
Last summer the group acquired Ireland-based, fast-casual Mexican chain Boojum, with its first UK site set to open in Leeds in April.
“The current year has started well with a particularly strong Christmas. Looking ahead, we remain focused on unlocking further growth opportunities at Zizzi, ASK and Coco and the further development of each of their customer propositions,” Holmes continues.
“We are also hugely excited at the opportunities to develop our new Mexican business, Boojum.”