Loungers grows sales, eyes north west
2 July, 2012
Café-to-bar group Loungers saw sales jump by more than a third in the year to end-April, continuing the operator’s stellar growth over the last few years.
Turnover for the year hit £15.1m, up by 38% year on year. EBITDA rose by more than a quarter, to £3.1m. The figures include contributions from six new openings over the year, comprising Lounge sites in Southampton, Hove and two in Bournemouth, and Cosy Club locations in Bath and Stamford. Another opening since the year-end—the Verdo Lounge in Wylde Green, Sutton Coldfield—has taken its total estate to 24.
Loungers has bucked the trend of high street struggles recently, specialising in secondary high street locations and turning unlikely buildings into quirky venues that attract both cafe and bar trade. Managing director Alex Reilley said of the year: “We had another very good 12 months with all of the new sites performing very strongly straight from the word go in addition to a strong like-for-like performance from the rest of the group. The figures are particularly pleasing given that half of the new sites didn’t open until the final quarter of the financial year.”
The financial year also saw Loungers secure £16m of fresh backing from private equity firm Piper. The money will be used to fund up to ten new sites over the current financial year. “With our private equity partners now in place and with continued strong support from Santander we are now in a position to take the rate we expand the business up a notch. We’ve got a number of great sites lined up to open before the end of 2012 and we’re busy loading up the pipeline for 2013 and beyond.”
Future openings will include the fourth Cosy Club, in Salisbury in August. A Lounge in Christchurch and a Cosy Club in Cardiff will also follow, and three sites in the north west—one in Liverpool and two in Manchester—are currently in legals. Two Bristol Lounges and one in Portishead, plus another Cosy Club in Exeter, will also follow.