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Restaurant Group sees results in-line despite dent from snow

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(Reuters) – Britain’s Restaurant Group <RTN.L>, the owner of the Frankie & Benny’s chain, said on Wednesday it expects to meet annual results estimates despite a hit on its latest comparable sales from adverse weather.

Comparable sales for the 20 weeks to May 20 were down 4.3 percent as snow kept customers away.

A Siberian weather system that British forecasters dubbed the “Beast From the East” brought snow, strong winds and the coldest temperatures in years to many regions in the two months through March.

However, like-for-like sales for were still down 3.1 percent excluding the impact of snow — an outcome the company blamed on a challenging market.

Rising competition from food-focused pubs and a drop in visitors to retail shopping malls, where many of its outlets are located, have hit Restaurant Group’s brands in recent years.

Nonetheless, Restaurant Group, which operates more than 500 restaurants and pubs in the UK, said it expected full-year results in line with current market expectations.

Shares in the company were 2.6 percent higher at 322.6 pence at 0713 GMT.

(Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely)

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