Loungers has issued a trading update for the 24 weeks to 1 October 2023, with like-for-like (lfl) sales up 7.7%.

This represents an acceleration from the lfl sales growth of 5.7% previously reported for the 12 weeks to 9 July 2023. Relative to the 24 weeks ended 6 October 2019, lfl sales are up 25.0%.

The operator of all-day cafe, bar and restaurants delivered total revenue for H1 FY24 of £149.6m, up 22.3% on the previous year (H1 FY23: £122.3m). 

The company said that inflationary pressures are continuing to diminish in line with expectations. 

CEO Nick Collins added that the “consistent sales growth” reflects the continued evolution of the Loungers offer and the resilience of the UK consumer and high street.

Non-property net debt on 1 October 2023 sat at £14.3m, compared to £9.5m the previous year, reflecting the timing of September month end working capital cash outflows.

The group has opened 16 new sites during H1 FY24, taking the portfolio to 238 sites. With a further 17 sites scheduled to open, Loungers expects to open a record 34 new sites in the current financial year. 

Collins added, ”We have now opened 34 sites in the past 12 months, creating around 1,000 jobs in the process, and 72 sites since the last Covid lockdown.  

”With a great pipeline of further openings in front of us I have never felt more optimistic about our prospects.  

”None of this would be possible without our amazing team, and as ever I would like to say a massive thank you to them for their hard work.”