Coq d’Argent Restaurant Owner D&D’s Sales Rose 6% Last Month

Des Gunewardena
Des Gunewardena, chairman and chief executive of D&D London, whose London restaurants include Coq d'Argent. He plans to open two more restaurants and a wine shop in the City financial district. Source: Sauce Communications via Bloomberg.

D&D London Ltd., the owner of 20 London restaurants, including Coq d’Argent, said sales rose 6 percent last month and by 5 percent in the six months to Sept. 30, as poor weather, riots and volatility failed to damp demand.

“Though we had a disappointing summer in terms of weather, and despite the doom and gloom in the financial markets, our revenues have continued to increase in the current financial year,” Chairman and Chief Executive Des Gunewardena said today in an e-mailed release. “But we are cautious about the short-term future and are monitoring our revenues closely.”

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, excluding one-time items, in the 12 months ended March 31 were little changed from a year earlier at 6.5 million pounds ($10.3 million). Sales rose 4.7 percent to 73.7 million pounds, D&D said. The company didn’t give a net income figure.

London revenue gains were led by Avenue, which jumped 13 percent, the Royal Exchange (12 percent), Bluebird (11 percent) and Skylon (8 percent.) Profit was depressed by increased marketing costs and strengthening management as the business grows. Guastavino’s New York events business surged 50 percent.

D&D’s redevelopment of the Old Bengal Warehouse in New Street, in the City financial district, is planned to open in the spring, the company said. The company’s first hotel, in nearby South Place, is scheduled for the summer.

The London restaurants of D&D include Almeida, Floridita, Kensington Place, Paternoster Chop House, Plateau and Quaglino’s. The company also owns venues in Copenhagen (Bacino/ Custom House/ Ebisu), Paris (Alcazar), Tokyo (Botanica/ Iconic) and New York (Guastavino’s).

D&D stands for Des (Gunewardena) and Managing Director David Loewi, who led the buyout of Conran Restaurants in September 2006. That company was founded in 1991.

(Richard Vines is the chief food critic for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. He is U.K. and Ireland chairman of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards.)

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