Loungers has reported a “significant market out-performance” since reopening, with net like for like sales growth of +29.9% from 4 July to 13 September 2020.

Excluding the positive impacts of Eat Out to Help Out and the VAT reduction, like for like sales were reported to be positive over the 9 weeks from 13 July to 13 September 2020

Two new sites have opened since the restart, with plans to open four more by the end of the current financial year.

Non-property net debt has been reduced from £35m in April to £24.5m in September.

The update was reported in full year results to 21 April 2019, which saw revenues up 8.8% to £166.5m.

Adjusted EBITDA was up 0.8% £28.7m, while loss before tax was £14.7m, up from £6.7m in 2019.

With only the final eight weeks of the period affected by coronavirus, Loungers reported like for like sales growth up 4.5% in the 44 weeks to 23 February 2020, during which time it opened 21 new sites.

Nick Collins, CEO of Loungers said the strength of the performance since re-opening highlights “how strategically well-positioned we are in both Lounge and Cosy Club”.

“Our like for like sales of +30% over the last 10 weeks includes the remarkable four weeks of the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme and the government’s support for our sector continues to be much appreciated,” he said.

“More importantly, however, having fully re-opened our underlying sales are in growth even without this support. We have focused on providing amazing hospitality, whilst reassuring our teams and customers the Lounges and Cosy Clubs are a safe environment, and our customers have been quick to return. During lockdown we were confident the flexibility of our all-day offer, our suburban and market-town locations and our focus on hospitality and community would ensure we emerged strongly. I believe these results have confirmed that to be the case.

Collins warned of the potential for further interruption to trade, but said coronavirus had strengthened the group’s belief in the potential scale of both brands, with “behavioural shifts being witnessed further underline this”.

He said Loungers would “cautiously re-start” its roll-out programme and get back to opening 25 sites a year in due course.

“I would like to thank our team across the UK for their extraordinary contribution over the last six months. It has been an immensely challenging period and their determination and hard-work have allowed us to not just get through it, but to emerge a better business,” he added.