Perico Lounge

Loungers has announced a record year for sales, profits, and site openings in the 53 weeks to 21 April 2024.

Revenue grew 24.7% year-on-year to £353.5m, while adjusted EBITDA rose 25.9% to £59.6m.

The all-day café, bar, and restaurant operator of the Lounge, Cosy Club, and Brightside concepts reported industry-leading like-for-like (lfl) sales growth of 7.5%, with current trading continuing to beat the market.

Profit before tax grew 56% to £11.4m, with operating profit also growing 37.7% to £20.3m. Loungers further reported strong cash generation from operating activities of £64.6m, representing 108% of adjusted EBITDA.

A record 36 new sites opened during the year, seven more than the previous year. New openings each delivered consistently high sales and profits.

Decreasing inflationary pressures, combined with increasing scale, has helped the business make good progress towards re-establishing pre-Covid margins.

Consistent food, drink, and design innovation continued to drive sales growth and relevance, alongside investment in the senior team and operational structure to deliver an ongoing rollout.

Loungers has a strong pipeline of new sites and internal capability to maintain its current rate of expansion.

Its growth and performance continues to demonstrate its target of 665 sites across the UK is a conservative one, according to the group.

It continues to feel positive about the outlook for its brands, with lfl sales up 5% in the 11 weeks since year end. New openings continue to perform ‘exceptionally well’, achieving record sales, and the pipeline remains ‘strong as ever.’

The group has opened seven Lounges since year end and is confident that good momentum and investment in operational management places it in the best possible position to deliver further growth and margin expansion in FY25.

CEO Nick Collins said: “This has been another year of outstanding strategic, operational and financial progress for Loungers. Our consistent and market-leading like for like sales growth coupled with our improving margins are allowing us to achieve record levels of profits to reinvest in our ambitious roll-out programme.

During the year, we opened 36 new sites, created 1,200 new jobs and invested around £39m in high streets and communities across the UK. We have demonstrated yet again that the hospitality sector is capable of making a really positive economic and social impact on parts of the country that are otherwise all-too-often overlooked. To encourage further investment, I would strongly urge the new government to address the wildly unfair tax burden that is shouldered by our industry in the form of a business rates system that urgently needs to be overhauled.

The variety, breadth and flexibility of our all-day offer is proving to be more relevant than ever, and last year our wonderful teams served 7m breakfasts and poured 6m pints to an increasingly wide demographic. As the business grows, we are constantly evolving and improving our menus to ensure that we continue to offer our customers the great experience and fantastic value for money that they have come to expect from us.

The improving macroeconomic environment, with falling interest rates and declining inflation, adds to our confidence in Loungers’ trading prospects for the coming year. In the longer term, we continue to believe that 665 sites is a conservative target.”