Nando’s losses rise to £241m after ‘toughest year’

The Nando’s boss said the chain of chicken restaurants had endured “the toughest year” in its history as losses soared following pandemic-enforced closures.

Accounts for the last financial year to February 2021 show the company slumped to a pre-tax loss of £241.8million, after a loss of £99.4million the previous year.

Nando’s Group – which runs the group’s UK and international operations – saw its revenue plunge during the year after restaurants were temporarily forced to close.

Revenue fell 39.3% to £665million for the past year after all of its markets were hit by the restrictions.

Group chief executive Rob Papps, however, hailed the performance as a strong performance in the “challenging environment” caused by Covid-19 and said the business was “well placed” to bounce back.

“Fiscal 2021 was Nando’s toughest ever due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

“In this difficult context, I am incredibly proud of the way Nando’s responded; with a clear focus on our people and supporting our communities.

“I am particularly pleased that we have managed to avoid any layoffs in our UK restaurants and avoid any permanent closures.

“Looking forward, the Nando’s brand remains very well positioned, underpinned by our delicious peri-peri chicken, continued menu innovation, focus on social impact and investment in delivery, loyalty and customer technology. , making it easier for more people to eat Chez Nando.

The group also revealed it had cut its capital investment by nearly half – falling to £54.2m from £97.4m a year earlier – as it sought to conserve cash .

Nando’s Group also secured £100m of equity from its South African parent company during the year and agreed to a pay cut for senior executives and rent cuts.

Current trade has “significantly improved” globally, the company said, but remains mixed with variations between regions.

Nando’s was among UK restaurant chains to close a number of restaurants over the summer after production staff shortages impacted its chicken supply.

However, the company said it remains confident in its future growth prospects and has seen “continued strong demand” for its peri-peri chicken.

The company also highlighted increased investment in communities over the past year, with more than 55,000 meals donated to NHS workers during the year.

It also highlighted that it accelerated its sustainability goals during the year and signed the Better Chicken Commitment to improve welfare in its supply chain.