Chairman David Page said the climate would allow the group to secure sites at greatly reduced rents and lower investment costs per site and aim for a much higher return on capital when operations resume normally.
The comments are part of an interim update to the exchanges, which saw revenue decline 44.9% to £ 19.9million (2019: £ 36.0million) due to lockdown restrictions national.
Fulham Shore reported an after-tax loss of £ 3.9million (2019: profit of £ 0.4million) for the six months ended September 27, 2020.
Overall EBITDA was £ 3.7m (2019: £ 8.4m), with restaurants closed for more than half of the reporting period.
The group has raised £ 2.25m from a placement and subscription of shares
He also agreed to a new £ 10.75million loan facility under the CLIBIL program and extended the maturity date of the existing RCF loan facility by 12 months until March 2022.
Net debt (excluding rental debts) stands at £ 3.3m, compared to £ 9.5m as of March 29, 2020.
At the end of the period under review, the group opened its 54eFranco Manca, at the Borough Market.
The Real Greek opened in The Lexicon, Bracknell, bringing the brand’s ownership to 20.
“We are pleased to have achieved an honorable performance during the first half of the current fiscal year, despite the closure of all Franco Manca and The Real Greek restaurants to catering customers for more than half of the period” , Page said.
“The Group generated positive overall EBITDA in the second quarter (July to September), reflecting the popularity of our business and their excellent value proposition.”
Page said that both brands’ operational teams quickly adapted to the new changes and were exploring new opportunities such as Franco Manca and The Real Greek “Meal at Home” kits and new electronic gift cards.
“The continued damage in the real estate and catering sectors will allow us to prospect for new sites at very reduced rents and reduced investment costs per site.
“As such, over the next several years and once normal trading conditions return, we will aim for a higher return on capital than we have historically achieved.”