Friday, 15th March: Frankie & Benny’s owner Restaurant Group were forgiven by the market today after reporting a pre-tax profit which was roughly half in comparison to the same period last year due to the costs associated with the Wagamama acquisition, something we don’t see very often in times where the market is usually less forgiving. However, they still managed to pay out a dividend which was covered twice by adjusted profit.
The market now believes that much of the group’s future lies in the hands of Wagamama and the success they can generate from the franchise. The market welcomed the news with open arms and the group sat firmly at the top of the mid-cap index for the entirety of the day.
Another mid-cap leisure group released some results today, which weren’t accepted as warmly as the Restaurant Groups. JD Wetherspoon experienced a less enthusiastic reaction from the market following their half ear update for the 26 weeks which led up to the end of January 2019. The results came with the news that pre-tax profit fell and there is going to be higher costs recorded during the second half of the fiscal year against its comparative period from last year.
The blue-chip index was able to continue a fifth day in a row of gains after finding comfort in the fact that parliament approved asking the EU for a delay in Brexit and avoided having to put up with an abrupt no-deal Brexit.
The FTSE 100 finished the day 0.60% higher at 7228.28 and 1.7% higher than the end of last week.