Bad month for seafood chain

Restaurant operator Fishworks rocks the boat by admitting profits will be lower than it publicly predicted just one month ago...


Restaurant operator Fishworks rocks the boat by admitting profits will be lower than it publicly predicted just one month ago…

It was beginning to look as if the Fishworks restaurant chain had started to put stormy times behind it, with the 2006 financial year bringing its first ever profits. Only last month, forecasts for the AIM-listed company trumpeted that profits for 2007 were expected to be £2.2 million, but sadly that seems to have been overambitious and the figure has had to be revised to a more modest £0.75 million in the full glare of public scrutiny.

This shortfall is mainly due to the delay in opening a new key outlet, originally scheduled for September 2006 but now expected to open in July 2007 at best. The company will therefore incur the costs associated with that site without receiving the revenue expected from it.

There are currently 12 Fishworks outlets operating mainly in the London area, including recent additions in fashionable Notting Hill and Chelsea in London, with the format comprising a small fishmonger section opening up to a stylish restaurant. The foray into running a concession at Harvey Nichols department store marked a departure from this successful format and proved to be a mistake. Chief executive Mitch Tonks concedes that, as losses at the store had continued to build, a quick closure was necessary.

Marc Barber

Raven Connelly

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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