Rockpool Dining Group forecasts robust growth, locks in strong pipeline of new openings

Quadrant Private Equity’s Rockpool Dining Group, Australia’s largest and most awarded dining group, is expecting greater than 30 percent top-line and EBITDA growth this financial year and is on track to meet its five-year goal of becoming Australia’s first $1 billion dining group by the end of FY 20/21.

The strong growth outlook is attributed to improvements in like-for-like and organic growth, as well as many successful new restaurant openings. The Group has signed more than 15 new leases over the past 90 days, to support plans to open 15-20 new venues each year across its diverse dining portfolio.

Construction is well underway for a number of new openings, including:

  • Munich Brauhaus – Southbank, QLD (May 2018)
  • The Bavarian – Rouse Hill, NSW (May 2018)
  • Burger Project Black Label – CBD, NSW (May 2018)
  • The Bavarian – Toowoomba, QLD (June 2018)
  • Fratelli Fresh – Darling Harbour, NSW (June 2018)
  • The Bavarian – Castle Towers, NSW (June 2018)
  • The Bavarian BEERHAUS – Fortitude Valley, QLD (June 2018)
  • The Bavarian – Southland, VIC (July 2018)
  • The Bavarian – Bondi Junction, NSW (August 2018)
  • Saké Restaurant & Bar – Manly Pier, NSW (August 2018)
  • Fratelli Fresh – Manly Pier, NSW (August 2018)

The Group is also assessing a number of international sites with a current focus on Los Angeles, Singapore and Shanghai and plans to open a first site in FY 19/20. These routes are a natural extension for the Rockpool brand and align well with Rockpool’s partnership with Qantas.

Since Quadrant’s acquisition of Urban Purveyor Group in 2015, the Group has enjoyed strong growth, including doubling sales and EBITDA and growing from 17 to more than 50 restaurants in the immediate 24 months. The Group’s impressive results were fuelled by strong organic growth and the acquisitions of Fratelli Fresh and Neil Perry’s Rockpool portfolio in 2016, after which the combined group rebranded to Rockpool Dining Group.

Rockpool Dining Group’s restaurants are currently 57 in number and the group expects to open another eight venues before the end of this financial year. 

The Group expects sales in the range of $300 million to $330 million and an EBITDA range of $35 million to $40 million in FY 17/18, which represents greater than 30 percent year-over-year top line growth and 40 percent year over year EBITDA growth. Additionally, the sales and EBITDA run rate at the end of FY 17/18 is expected to be in the range of $320 million to $350 million and more than $40 million, following the strong performance of many new restaurant openings. The group is expecting EBITDA CAGR going forward in the 20-30 percent range for FY18/19 and forward.

Rockpool Dining Group Chief Executive Officer Thomas Pash said seven new restaurants were scheduled to open in the next eight weeks, another three were in construction, and two new restaurants opened earlier in 2018.

“We’ve never been in better shape as a business,” Mr Pash said. “Our size has led to improved economies of scale, operational leverage, efficiencies and excellence, and to substantial margin improvement.”

Mr Pash said with 16 restaurant brands in the portfolio the Group constantly monitored the performance of each and evolved growth plans accordingly in order to deliver the best return to shareholders.

“Since the acquisition of Rockpool Group we’ve modified our growth plan and decided to shift our fast-casual focus to the Burger Project brand, which is delivering a solid and improving return to the Group.

“In addition, our casual restaurants – The Bavarians, Fratelli Fresh and El Camino Cantina – are expected to accelerate growth across the Australian market. The Bavarian family of restaurants have now been identified as high growth brands for the business, which we believe can scale to more than 100 locations across the country.

“There is already significant Bavarian expansion underway across the country, with new markets being explored. We also expect strategic, selective growth across the premium brands across Australia and some initial International markets.”

“With all this taken into account, we expect to achieve our five-year goal to create an enterprise value of greater than $1 billion by FY 20/21.”

Culinary and Brands Director Neil Perry said it had been a spectacular past 12 months for the combined group.

“We really hit our stride as a group in mid-2017 and I am bullish about 2018 and beyond,” Mr Perry said.

“Tom and I have built a comprehensive network plan for our core, high growth and strategic brands that supports continuous expansion, so we are very much here for the long term and looking forward to exciting times ahead.”

About Rockpool Dining Group: Rockpool Dining Group is the largest restaurant and dining group in Australia, with more than 50 award-winning dining and entertainment venues, revenues in excess of $300 million. The Group’s dining and entertainment brands include Rockpool Bar & Grill, Burger Project, Bar Patron by Rockpool, Spice Temple, Fratelli Fresh and Fratelli Famous Pizzeria, Rosetta Ristorante, El Camino Cantina. The Cut Bar & Grill, Saké Restaurant & Bar, The Bavarian, Munich Brauhaus, The Argyle and Rockpool Events & Catering. Additionally, the Group’s vertically-integrated model includes Urban Beverage Imports. Rockpool Dining Group is owned by Quadrant Private Equity, one of Australia’s leading Private Equity firms.

**Information & Image courtesy of Rockpool Dining Group – Rachel Lebihan