Trading Update For The 53 Weeks Ended 21 April 2024

Loungers, operator of all-day café/bar/restaurants across the UK under the Lounge, Cosy Club and Brightside brands, today announces a trading update for the 53 weeks ended 21 April 2024 – “FY24”.

We are pleased to have delivered record total revenue for the financial year of £353.5m, up 24.7% on the previous year (FY23: £283.5m).  Excluding the benefit of the 53rd week, total sales were up 22.2%. This sales performance reflects both continuing strong like for like sales growth (+7.5% across the 53 weeks) and the ongoing success of our new site opening programme.

The strength of our sales performance has been accompanied by disciplined management of costs and a continued easing of inflationary cost pressures and, accordingly, we expect EBITDA for FY24 to be ahead of market expectations.

Our balance sheet remains strong, with non-property net debt at 21 April 2024 of £9.7m (16 April 2023: £6.1m).  Year-end net debt reflects the further acceleration of our site roll-out programme during the year.

During FY24 the Group opened 36 new sites, a record number (FY23: 29 new sites), comprising 33 Lounges, one Cosy Club and two Brightsides. At year end the portfolio totalled 257 sites. Subsequent to the year end, we have opened a further Lounge in Ely, Cambridgeshire. The FY24 cohort of sites has traded well since opening, giving us confidence as to the continuing strength of the pipeline.

Loungers expects to update the market next on 9 July 2024 when we will announce our preliminary results for the 53 weeks ended 21 April 2024.

Nick Collins, CEO, commented: “I am delighted with our performance over the year. We have consistently out-performed the sector on a like for like basis whilst having delivered a record 36 new site openings. As ever, it’s our continued focus on menu innovation, value for money and exceptional hospitality that is driving the strength of our performance in both the mature estate and our new openings.

“As we start the new financial year we are looking ahead with optimism. Our experience suggests that the UK economy is holding up well and we are well positioned to deliver continued growth.”