Various Eateries Receives £2.5m Business Interruption Insurance Payout

Various Eateries, which owns and operates the Coppa Club and Tavolino brands, has received an interim £2.5m payout from its business interruption insurance policy following the landmark Supreme Court ruling earlier this month.

In a statement the Group said it has minimised its cash burn during the closure period and has received an interim payment under its Business Interruption Insurance policy of £2.5 million. Whilst this payment does not entirely compensate for the loss of business over the period of the epidemic, it does support the Group’s overall liquidity, which remains strong. Negotiations with its insurance company regarding additional claims and the final claim period are still continuing and further updates will be provided in due course, as appropriate

The company stated: “Whilst this payment does not entirely compensate for the loss of business over the period of the epidemic, it does support the group’s overall liquidity, which remains strong. Negotiations with its insurance company regarding additional claims and the final claim period are still continuing and further updates will be provided in due course, as appropriate. The board deplores the damage done to our previously vibrant and thriving industry, with the attendant loss of businesses, jobs and livelihoods. However, even allowing for the likely extension of lockdown and restrictive measures, the group’s growth strategy remains as previously communicated to investors – to capitalise on the opportunities emerging from the impact of the pandemic and associated restrictions.

Management continues to expect the availability of prime sites and high-quality staff to provide a backdrop highly conducive to successful expansion. In line with this strategy, while the business has been closed management has been exploring a number of desirable sites for expansion across the UK. Given the lack of guidance as to when lockdown and other restrictions will be lifted, the company has so far chosen to hold off signing up to any new leases, but expects to be able to do so in the near future on terms that reflect the considerable and continuing fall in retail property values.

In light of the continuing uncertainty as to when the latest lockdown may end, it is no longer possible to accurately estimate the impact on earnings and therefore the board is withdrawing its current guidance.” Chief executive Yishay Malkov said: “The management team and I have run restaurants through numerous crises and challenging external events and we have always come back stronger. While covid-19 is the biggest challenge our industry has seen, we have the team, the sites and the resources to get back on the expansion trail, just as soon as the government fires the starting gun. We applaud the rapid roll-out of the vaccine and note the government’s objective of inoculating all members of the four most vulnerable groups by 15th February 2021.

Providing this is achieved, the company urges the government to help get this amazing industry, employing more than three million mainly young people, back on its feet.”