Restaurant Group increases its 2015 full year dividend by 13%

DividendMax Ltd.

Restaurant Group increases its 2015 full year dividend by 13%

Chairman's statement

I am pleased to report that the Group has delivered another record set of financial results in 2015, with double digit growth in profits and earnings per share and strong growth in cash flow generation. This has been achieved despite a more challenging trading backdrop.

We made good progress on our opening programme with a total of 44 new restaurants opened during the year, taking us past the 500 mark for the first time. The Group has a consistent and successful track record established over a number of years of opening new restaurants. We expect to open a similar number of restaurants during 2016.

During the year the Group created over 1,500 new jobs and at the end of the year, we employed over 16,000 people. Good people are the life blood of our business and the continued growth and success of the Group is the product of the hard work, experience and dedication of all our staff. On behalf of the Board, I would like to record our thanks and appreciation to all our colleagues across the country.

As a result of this record financial performance, the Board is recommending a final dividend of 10.6 pence per share to give a total for the year of 17.4 pence per share, an increase of 13% on the prior year. The dividend is covered 2x by earnings per share in line with our stated dividend policy. Subject to shareholder approval at the Annual General Meeting to be held on 12 May 2016, the final dividend will be paid on 6 July 2016 and the shares will be marked ex-dividend on 16 June 2016.

This is my last Chairman's statement. As announced earlier this year I will be retiring at the end of the AGM on 12 May 2016. This will be the end of a 15 year journey for me during which time we have transformed the Company from being loss making in 2001 to the successful business of today.

It has been a terrific journey but now is the time to hand over to my successor Debbie Hewitt. As I said earlier this year when Debbie's appointment was announced, I am delighted that she has agreed to succeed me. Debbie has strong business credentials and I know she will add insight and guidance to the Board as she leads the Company through the next stages of growth.

TRG has a great team of people led by Danny Breithaupt and a strong roster of market-leading brands and offerings, backed by the financial resources to maximise the opportunities over the coming years. I am therefore confident that TRG will continue to make strong and profitable progress.

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