Healthy fast-food chain Leon had a record year in 2016 as sales rose by 58% and revenue passed the £50m mark for the first time.
Revenue for the year end 25 December 2016 was £58m, up from £36m the year before.
The chain also reported a 7.6% increase in like-for-like sales and £3.4m EBITDA – up £0.7m.
During the year, Leon opened 10 restaurants, eight which are company owned, including a two floor site in Oxford, on Cornmarket and a site in Brighton on North street.
The new openings saw Leon make a pre-tax loss of £321,584 last year, whereas in 2015 it recorded a pre-tax profit of £358,798.
Co-founder and CEO, John Vincent said: “I was happy with our performance in 2016. To grow our same store sales by more than 7% for a fourth year was encouraging. But speaking more broadly on behalf of the restaurant industry, we cannot out-run rates increases, exchange rate challenges, high rents and living wage increases. The huge rates increases have been crippling. The government needs to get out of its self-satisfied bubble and realise what it is doing to what was previously a flourishing sector.”
Although the figures are still on the rise for 2017, Leon said it found August challenging. In 2017 so far, five company owned sites have opened; Shaftesbury Avenue, Southwark St and Richmond upon Thames in London, along with two in Manchester.
Following Leon’s deal with Norwegian millionaire Jens Ulltveit-Moe, it is planning to roll out 20 restaurants in Norway and Sweden over the next five years.
A deal worth £25m was completed in August this year for shareholder GP investments to come on board to fund the launch of the brand in the US in 2018. It aims to open two trial sites in the next six to nine months.
Leon was founded by John Vincent, Henry Dimbleby and chef Allegra McEvedy in 2004. It now has 52 restaurants including all franchises. It employs over 680 members of staff.
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