Itsu, the Julian Metcalfe-led group, saw revenues increase 17% to £95.9m in the year to 29 December 2016, underpinned by retail like-for-like store growth of 0.8%.
However, EBITDA fell by 70% in the year to £2m due to “continued investment in a new store expansion programme outside of London, losses in the in-house delivery business and significant head office investment behind the future UK & international expansion of the business”.
Pre-tax losses for the year stood at £8.9m against a £567k profit in 2015. The company said it was impacted by a number of one-off factors including investments in the US and investment in a new head office building.
It opened nine new sites in the period, including a new flagship site at Heathrow Terminal 5 and regional openings in Manchester, Leeds and Bristol.
The company took on £25m of new equity in cash from investment company Ambrosia in 2016 to set it up for organic growth in the UK and the US. There was a further injection of £15m in 2017.
The company is to focus on regional expansion next year as it looks to open 10 sites across the next 12 months.
The group told MCA it would focus next year’s expansion plans on sites outside of London “to support a more localised strategy”.
The c70-strong company will open sites in The Shard, Wimbledon and Ealing over the coming months.
As reported by MCA earlier this year, SSP, the travel concessions operator, is expected to open its first site under partnership with Itsu, at London’s Liverpool Street Station.
It will also start building its first US site in New York’s fashion district for an opening next year as it looks to go “in hot pursuit of Pret’s 100 sites in the US”.