Loungers plc, the leading nationwide operator of all day café-bars and restaurants across the UK under the Lounge, Cosy Club and Brightside brands, is pleased to announce its half year results for the 26 weeks ended 1st October 2023. Loungers has reported consistently strong trading across all sites:
- Like-for-like sales up +7.7% year-on-year and 24% ahead of pre-covid levels.
- Adjusted EBITDA +28.2% to £17.3m.
- On track to open 34 sites in the UK this year
- 1,000 jobs created by the end of 2023
- Additionally, the Group is looking to recruit the same number again in 2024 to support its ambitious site roll-out plans
- The Group is currently targeting having 600 Lounges and 65 Cosy Clubs around Britain
Part of the company’s strategy for its Lounge concept is to target locations that are typically outside city centres, and as a result the company estimates that one in eight of its jobs is in an area that the government wants to ‘level up’ by creating better opportunities and standards of living. Nick Collins, Chief Executive Officer of Loungers said: “We are proud of the positive impact that our Lounges have on the local community. Each new Lounge creates 30 new jobs on average, and each opening typically represents an investment of up to £1m into the local high street. Apart from the employment opportunities, there’s a wonderful halo effect created by having a vibrant, friendly, community-hub at the centre of a high street. The increased footfall is great for all of the other local businesses, and typically leads to other enterprises coming to the area too.” Loungers is aiming to be the number one choice for careers in hospitality in the UK, and has built a strong reputation for being a great starting point for young people entering the industry – with around a third of its 8,400-strong team aged 21 or younger. The company is particularly targeting expansion in both the north-east and north-west, where it is currently under-represented, and is assessing a wide range of sites, from brand new developments to former retail properties, banks, restaurants and pubs. “Our Lounges are extremely versatile and work as well in purpose-built, mixed-use retail and leisure parks as they do in historic buildings on high streets. This gives us a huge amount of choice when assessing new sites, as we’re not tied to any one kind of environment or type of location.” Of the 59 sites that Loungers has opened in the last two years, 39% were former retail sites (including well-known high street names such as Boots, Waterstones, Argos, WH Smith, M&Co, Topshop and Currys), 20% were in brand new developments, 15% were former restaurants (such as Prezzo, Jamie’s Italian and Bistrot Pierre) and 12% were former banks.