The Restaurant Group's annual profits declined as it booked higher costs relating to store closures and the recent £559 million acquisition of Wagamama.

The owner of Garfunkel's and Chiquito made a pre-tax profit of £13.9 million in 2018 compared with £28.2m the year earlier.

The firm booked a £39.2m charge related to the closure of 28 sites, onerous leases on stores, the acquisitions of Wagamama, Food and Fuel and Ribble Valley Inns as well as an impairment associated with certain restaurant assets.

The Wagamama acquisition was formally completed in December, bringing almost 200 branches into the group's portfolio.

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Revenue rose one per cent £686m, but like-for-like sales fell 2%, which the company said were affected by adverse weather and the 2018 football World Cup, although it noted that this was an improvement on 2017.

The company said it is currently trading in line with expectations with like-for-like sales up 2.8% for the 10 weeks to March 10.

Outgoing chief executive Andy McCue said: "We now have a business that is orientated strongly towards growth and we continue to focus on delivering shareholder value."

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Profits at JD Wetherspoon tumbled in the first half of the year as rising sales failed to offset an increase in costs at the pub group.

Pre-tax profits in the six months to January 27 fell 18.9 per cent to £50.3 million as costs rocketed, especially labour, which increased by about £33m.

However, revenue rose 7.1% to £889.6m and like-for-like sales were up 6.3% in the period.

Chairman Tim Martin warned that costs would continue to rise in the second half.

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He added that in the six weeks to March 10, like-for-like sales increased by 9.6% and total revenue jumped 10.9%, helped by good weather and favourable comparables.

In the first half of the year, the firm opened two new pubs and closed six, bringing its total estate to 879.

Recruitment firm SThree's quarterly profits rose thanks to growth in international markets which offset a weak UK performance.

Gross profit for the first quarter ended in February increased nine per cent to £78.1 million as the company saw 85% of profits generated from markets outside of the UK and Ireland.

All the group's international units reported higher profits apart from the UK and Ireland, which declined 7% to £11.7m.