New openings drive annual sales higher at Loungers

Cafe-bar operator Loungers has reported surging annual sales on the back of a raft of new openings in its first set of results since floating in April.

The rollout of 25 new openings over the year boosted the performance of the company which trades from individually named Lounges, as well as the Cosy Club chain.

The company saw sales jump 26.4% to £153 million for the year to April 21, following the openings and infrastructure investment.

Operating profits increased by 40% to £9.7 million during the period, as it drove cost efficiency despite the “well-documented cost challenges” affecting the dining sector.

Loungers said it was hit by £500,000 in one-off costs related to the planning and preparation of its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the junior AIM market.

Founded in 2002, the chain now trades from 154 sites, after a further eight openings during the new financial year.

The company said its significant rollout strategy for new sites cost around £18.5 million in investment over the year.

Nick Collins, chief executive of Loungers, said the current financial year has “started well” for the business and that its rollout strategy for both brands remains on schedule.

He said: “These results represent a strong performance for the financial year ending April 2019 and are in line with both our, and the market’s, expectations.

“Our revenue and profit growth not only reflect the continued success of the roll-out, but also our unwavering focus on our customers, the evolution of our proposition and how we support and invest in our teams.

“I remain confident about the outlook and future growth prospects for the group.”

Analysts at Liberum said the maiden results came in ahead of expectations and delivered on the strategy set out in the company’s IPO.

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