Casual dining chains Giraffe and Ed's Easy Diner could consider closures as the owner of both brands kicks off a review into the business.

Boparan Restaurant Group, the dining arm of Ranjit Singh Boparan's business empire, is understood to have drafted in advisers at KPMG to explore a range of options.

Although the process is at an early stage, options are thought to include site disposals or even a potential sale of the Giraffe and Ed's Easy Diner brands.

A spokesman for the company said: "BRG operates a portfolio of restaurant brands most of which are trading well despite some of the most difficult trading conditions seen in the UK for some time.

"Whilst we have some star brands, we have one or two that are performing less well. We are therefore looking at a number of options and have hired KPMG to advise."

KPMG declined to comment.

Shares in Flybe tumbled after the troubled airline warned that it will have to close if shareholders do not back a joint takeover offer led by Virgin Atlantic.

Flybe shares were down as much as 17 per cent today to 2.61p a share after the company said shareholders would end up with nothing if they do not approve the deal on March 4.

The company's board recently approved the £2.2 million sale to Connect Airways consortium - which consists of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart and Cyrus Capital - for 1p a share, which Flybe admitted is "disappointingly low" but is "ultimately the only proposal capable of immediate execution to enable Flybe ... to continue to trade".

UK economic growth is expected to have slowed in the final quarter of last year but economists warned against viewing the data as a sign the UK is headed for recession.

Economists believe that gross domestic product growth slowed to 0.3 per cent in the three months to December.

It comes after growth cooled off in the three months to November, rising 0.3% compared to the previous quarter. Growth of 0.4% was recorded in the three months to October.

The third quarter of 2018 saw GDP rise by 0.6%, reflecting strong retail sales during the World Cup and a recovery in construction activity.

Month-on-month growth for December is forecast to be flat.