The Group has 95% of the restaurants operating as of the end of March versus 92% at the end of December.
After the difficult 2020 impacted by the pandemic-related restrictions, the company noted positive trends in Q1 2021, which resulted in an improvement in the EBITDA margin expansion of 280 basis points, reaching 13.1% in Q1 2021 versus 10.3% last year.
AmRest, the leading multi-brand franchise restaurant operator in Europe, observed encouraging developments in its business in Q1 2021, which was reflected in the company’s financial results The Group reported consolidated revenues at 380.0 m Euro vs 411.9 m Euro last year (down by 7,8%), but managed to achieve EBITDA of 49.6m Euro (a 16,5% increase over the year) and margin expansion by 2.8 p.p. to 13,1%. Different cost optimization initiatives, further improvement of food margin, savings in key categories, and other support programs enabled solid margin improvement.
The Group also managed to increase the number of operating restaurants from 92% at the end of December 2020, to 95% at the end of March 2021. The closure of dine-in, or operations with restricted capacity, was partially offset by the growth in other sales channels such as take out, drive through, and delivery. AmRest continued to expand its digital platform penetration, increasing the accessibility of its services to new customers with a 26% growth of new customer database.
"The first quarter of 2021 still posed many challenges to the restaurant industry, but with the properly managed operations and commitment of our people, we were able to prove the resilience of our business. We not only increased our trading capacity by operating a bigger number of stores compared to the end of 2020 but also continued our opening program. In this period we added 21 new restaurants which are more than in a comparable quarter of 2020. With an improvement in vaccination rates across our key markets, we remain optimistic about keeping these positive trends in the forthcoming months" – said Mark Chandler, AmRest Chief Executive Officer.
Some of the AmRest markets already showed noticeable improvements, as an example, margins in China and Russia recovered strongly, growing 28.7 p.p. to 26.3% in China and 20.3% (5.0 p.p. higher compared to Q1 2020) in Russia. Although Western, as well as Central and Eastern Europe, remained under pressure, take away and delivery share absorbed approximately half of the nominal volume the dine-in lost.
The successful execution of online and delivery strategy in recent years allowed AmRest to significantly grow these sales channels. In Q1 2021, revenues through delivery, drive-through, and takeout represented 84 % of total sales, comparing to 51 % in Q1 2020.