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Burger chain Byron admits it may need another lifeline

Struggling burger chain Byron has warned it could face a cash call if hard-pressed consumers continue to spurn having meals out.
At the start of the year, the casual dining chain closed 19 restaurants and cut the rent of five underperforming outlets after thrashing out a CVA and restructuring with creditors.
Byron, which was left with about 50 restaurants after the deal, also secured ?34.5m of new investment. Of this, ?25m was used to pay off debt and the rest was sunk into the business, according to annual accounts for the year to the end of June 2017.
However, the results warned that as of the July this year, “trading conditions continue to be difficult as the new shareholders and managers restructure the cost base”.
They added that “further deterioration in trading conditions could result in liquidity problems” and “in the event of further shocks to trading conditions, liquidity can be provided from external sources if necessary, but the liquidity risk remains”.
Burger chain Byron admits it may need another lifeline

Byron got a publicity boost when then-Chancellor George Osborne tweeted a picture of him eating the restaurant's food while preparing the Budget

Credit:
PA
Byron, along with much of the casual dining market, has been struggling for years. Problems were compounded by food price inflation, higher payrolls because of the introduction of the minimum wage and apprenticeship levy, and business rate revaluations.
In March last year, Byron did a debt-for-equity swap with creditors to fight off problems, and three months later got a further cash injection from shareholders.
Annual revenues rose to ?80.5m but Byron went from a ?194,000 pre-tax profit last time round to a ?55m loss, largely because of the restructuring. The auditors’ report warned of a “material uncertainty” to Byron being able to continue as a going concern.
A spokesman for Byron said: “The liquidity statement in our financial filings is typical for a company in the hospitality sector which has recently undergone a CVA.
"We believe there are sufficient internal and operating opportunities available to Byron to withstand any potential shocks the sector may experience in the near future.” 
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