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Fall in Milano's profits blamed on competitive market

The company that operates the chain of Milano restaurants in Ireland last year sustained a 3pc drop in pre-tax profits to €3.3m.

According to accounts filed by Agenbite Ltd to the Companies Office, the company sustained the drop in profits after its revenues decreased by 2.5pc from €17.28m to €17m in the year to the end of June 27 last.

A subsidiary of Pizza Express, Milano opened its first outlet in Ireland on Dublin's Dawson Street in 1995. Along with several restaurants in Dublin, the company also operates outlets in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Ennis.

According to the directors' report: "The casual dining market is highly competitive and the company will seek new opportunities to open new restaurants, whilst continuing to operate effectively and efficiently."

The directors state that the key risks to the company are considered to be competition from other restaurateurs, employee retention, timely supplies or quality products and the impact of the current economic climate.

The returns show that staff numbers decreased by 17 from 345 during the year to 328, with staff costs marginally decreasing from €6.7m to €6.6m.

The returns show that the company's cost of sales decreased from €14m to €13.7m, while the company enjoyed a credit of €67,000 in relation to its administrative expenses.

The accounts show that after paying tax of €367,000, the company's after-tax profits were €2.95m. The company did not pay a dividend last year.

Pizza Express established its first restaurant in London and today operates over 300 restaurants in the UK, while it also operates in Spain and France under the brand name Pizza Milano.

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