The Board of Fulham Shore (the "Board") announces the following update on trading.
As of today, Fulham Shore's restaurant estate comprises 53 Franco Manca pizzeria and 19 The Real Greek restaurants. Throughout the current third lockdown and tier 4, which began on 20 December 2020, the Group has been trading through delivery and take out services at 48 Franco Manca and 10 The Real Greek.
Each restaurant requires fewer people to operate a delivery and takeaway only service, so much of the Group's workforce is on the UK Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - either on full furlough or flexi-furlough - until normal trading patterns resume or such scheme ceases to be in place.
The Group's revenues are currently running at around 46% of what the Board estimates to be normal trading levels, whilst we operate under these limited conditions. The Directors are confident that when the UK Government removes trading and "stay at home" restrictions, trading will return to previous levels.
The Group has now drawn down in full its CLBIL loan facility of £10.75m under the UK Government's scheme. The maturity date of our existing £14.75m HSBC RCF loan facility is March 2022. We are in negotiations with HSBC with a view to extending this facility.
The Company's net debt, before lease liabilities recognised under IFRS 16, as at 5 February 2021 was £5.7m. This compares with net debt of £9.5m as at 29 March 2020. The Group therefore has financial headroom within its loan agreements of circa £20m.
The well-publicised difficulties in the property and restaurant sectors are providing the Group with opportunities to acquire new sites at much reduced rents and lower capital costs per site. We are negotiating for many sites throughout the UK to re-start our expansion programme as soon as full restaurant trading resumes.
In addition to our existing commitment to open a new Franco Manca in Glasgow this summer, the Group is in final negotiations to secure two more sites over the next few weeks, one for Franco Manca and another for The Real Greek. Subject to concluding these negotiations as anticipated, both these restaurants would be ready to start trading in the summer.