Café-bar operator Loungers is pleased to report H2 like-for-like sales growth of 11.8% for the 28 weeks to 16th April 2023.
The Group has continued to deliver industry-leading like-for-like sales growth, up 7.4% on a one-year basis and up 17.6% ahead of pre-pandemic levels on a three-year basis. The Group is pleased to have delivered record total revenue for the financial year of £283.5 million, up 19.5% on the previous year.
The marked growth of 11.8% in one year like-for-like sales in H2, whilst partially reflective of the impact of Omicron in the comparative period, demonstrates an accelerated trading performance in the final 12 weeks of the financial year. This is yet another testament to the relevance and resilience of Loungers’ Lounge Café Bar, Cosy Club and Brightside brands in a challenging economic environment.
The strength of Loungers’ sales performance has enabled the business to manage the macro-economic backdrop and accordingly, the Group expects profitability for FY23 to be broadly in line with market expectations.
The Group’s balance sheet remains strong, with non-property net debt at 16th April 2023 of £6.4 million. Year-end net debt reflects the acquisition during the year of three freehold sites for a total consideration of £3.9 million and the acceleration in the Group’s site rollout programme.
During FY23, the Group opened 29 new sites, comprising 24 Lounges, four Cosy Clubs, and the first roadside site under the new Brightside brand, taking the portfolio to a total of 222 sites at year-end. The FY23 cohort of sites have traded well since opening and provide confidence as to the continuing strength of the pipeline.
Nick Collins, Chief Executive Officer of Loungers, said: “We have once again delivered a truly standout performance over the year. Our sales have been exceptional, with the mature estate trading 18% ahead of pre-pandemic levels and 7% ahead of what was a really strong performance last year.
“We have progressed well with our accelerated site rollout programme, opening 29 sites during the year, all of which have performed well above average, and our pipeline of around 35 sites for FY24 is incredibly exciting with nine openings planned for the first quarter. The first of our new roadside concept, Brightside, is open and trading well, and we look forward to opening the next two Brightside sites in the summer.
“For almost a decade now, we have consistently outperformed the market as we strive to deliver better for our customers and our teams. The inflationary pressure across our supply chain is easing, and our scale and continued growth have allowed us to mitigate much of the impact. We look forward to continued strong performance as we enter FY24.”