French chef Raymond Blanc’s restaurant venture Brasserie Bar has bemoaned a business rates hike for adding to an “increasingly hostile” trading environment as it posted a near £3.2m pre-tax loss.
A 12pc spike in its business rates bill alongside higher debt payments pushed it further into the red.
The Brasserie Blanc and White Brasserie pub chain owner traded strongly, avoiding the malaise that has hit a growing number of rivals.
Revenues rose nearly £6m to £46.8m after eight of its 35 sites broke sales records. This helped pre-tax earnings rise nearly a quarter to £7.3m.
The group said it had renegotiated drinks contracts in a bid to cut costs, and in spite of food inflation running at its highest level in more than a decade it had “resisted the temptation” to buy in prepared food and instead had chosen to sell seasonal and readily available products.
The firm opened six sites in the period, four of which were pubs. Chairman Ian Edward said some groups were “paying the price for over-expansion and are tactically withdrawing from certain markets”.
Jamie’s Italian and Byron have announced closures in recent weeks.
Source: The Telegraph