Spur laments alcohol ban and curfew

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Spur laments alcohol ban and curfew

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Published Date: 2020-07-24 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Spur laments alcohol ban and curfew

The restaurant group says earnings for the year are likely to be at least 40 percent down from last year due to Covid-19.

Spur says sales at its franchised restaurants have slumped by more than fifth over the past year due to Covid-19 and trading restrictions in all the countries where it operates. Continued restrictions on the sale of alcohol, the curfew imposed on all South Africans, together with customer anxiety about contracting the virus and growing personal financial stress, are having a detrimental impact on its business.

In a sales update, the restaurant group said total franchised sales fell by 21.7% to R6 billion in the year to June after lockdown measures were enforced from March. SA sales declined by 22.3%, while international sales fell 16.7% in rand terms. Local restrictions had the biggest impact on its trading performance for the period, with sales down 87% and 84% in May and June respectively.

Prior to the lockdown, group sales for the eight months to end-February were 5.8% ahead of last year.

Apart from Spur Steak Ranches, the group owns Panarottis, Casa Bella, John Dory's Fish Grill, The Hussar Grill, RocoMamas and Nikos Coalgrill Greek.

Turnover was already on the decline ahead of the start of the national lockdown on 27 March, when SA restaurants stopped trading altogether. They were allowed to recommence delivery services from 1 May, with takeaway services permitted from 1 June. Full sit-down service could be resumed from 29 June.

Spur said the number of local restaurants trading was likely to increase to 495 by the end of the month from 374 at the end of June, with most operating a full sit-down service. It has 631 restaurants across its various brands, including 84 outside SA. It was discounting franchise and marketing fees for its franchisees and granting extended payment terms for certain debts - and expected to continue doing so until there were meaningful increases in restaurant turnovers.

It said Covid-19 had had a significant impact on its revenue and earnings for the year, which were likely to be at least 40% down from last year.

its shares rose 0.8% to R15 yesterday.





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