On the money with Gavin Hinks

gavin hinks accountancy age

One man who clearly feels optimistic is Frank Bandura, the finance director
of Carluccio’s, the upmarket Italian cafe chain, who has developed a taste for
shares in his own company.

At the end of last week the Regulatory News Service revealed that Bandura has
invested £25,000 in an extra 48,000 Carluccio’s shares. Given that his holding
now stands at 176,600 shares, at prices earlier this week his shares are now
worth a little over £1m.

That’s not bad for what started out as a rather small concern, though backed
by rather a big brand. So Frank must feel something’s going well despite the
economic gloom.

The only other restaurant / hot food supplier I’ve heard sound quite so
relaxed is Domino Pizza, whose managers quickly made it clear everyone would
find their product to their taste now that the economy has gone sour. Recent
results bear that out.

You might have predicted more upmarket restaurants would suffer, but last
year Carluccio’s cooked up a rise in revenue any good pastry chef would be proud
of ­ up from £53.3m to £64.1m.

Bandura has been with the business almost since it started, with a CV that
includes Pizza Hut and PepsiCo. He clearly knew a good thing when he saw it.
Even Carluccio’s AIM flotation was a success, raising more than £90m instead of
the expected £26.5m.

Accountancy Age spotted Bandura back in 2006 and that he clearly saw
himself as something more than the man that counts the pies. ‘The FD role is one
that is much more of a general business adviser, expected to influence,
participate and bring their perspective to bear on where the business is going,’
he said.

Good. Wonder if he makes a good investment adviser too?

Gavin Hinks is editor of Accountancy Age

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