Restaurant Group booked a 51% drop in annual profit owing to write-downs, restructuring costs and expenses associated with its acquisition of Wagamama. Pre-tax profit for the year through December fell to £13.9m, even as sales grew 1.0% to £686.0m. The company, which also owns Garfunkel's and Frankie & Benny's, booked an exceptional charge of £39.2m, which included lease provisions and a write-down on the value of some of its restaurants. Adjusted pre-tax profit fell by a more modest 8.1% to £53.2m. Like-for-like sales fell 2.0%. Current trading was in line with the company;s expectations,with like-for-like sales up 2.8% for the 10 weeks to 10 March. The company declared a final dividend of 1.47p per share. 'We have made significant progress in 2018, acquiring a differentiated, high growth business in Wagamama, opening a record number of new sites in both our Pubs and Concessions businesses, and driving improved like-for-like sales momentum in the leisure business throughout 2018,' chief executive Andy McCue said. 'We now have a business that is orientated strongly towards growth and we continue to focus on delivering shareholder value.'
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