Thai restaurant brand Giggling Squid has reported that its turnover for the year ending 29 March 2020 was up by 16.3% to £38.4m.
It also reported company earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) before exceptional costs of £4.4m. Although company EBITDA decreased 10.5% on the prior year, this was due to the pandemic affecting the final three weeks of the financial year.
The company had positive like-for-like sales and absolute company EBITDA growth for the first 11 months of the year, with openings in Oxford, Chislehurst, Leamington Spa, Weybridge and Leicester.
Post-year-end, the business said it was riding the wave of pandemic challenges "exceptionally well" and has benefitted from "delivery-friendly cuisine and predominantly regional locations".
A new site in Cambridge opened late summer and has traded "above expectations (lockdown aside)". More recently, the company used the second government lockdown to refurbish and expand its Clifton and Guildford branches.
The company said it remains well financed with a "commanding liquidity position" and is looking to acquire a number of restaurant and retail units nationwide to build a strong pipeline for the 2021 financial year.
Andy Laurillard, co-founder and chief executive, said: "Our business has proven hugely resilient over the last year. Our provincial estate benefitted from work from home patterns and our fantastic teams have done a terrific job pivoting to and from a break-even delivery/takeaway model, a true test of their morale. We are expecting further months of disrupted trading, but see little risk to the business from these and we expect to recommence acquisitions after Christmas.
"There is no doubt that for the few businesses whose model has allowed them to weather the last nine months, that there are some very good opportunities in the market. However, we are also somewhat cautious about what sort of economy we will emerge into when, as we hope, normality returns next summer. Our expansion will be measured, and we will be evaluating new sites against stricter performance metrics than we have previously applied."
Giggling Squid was founded in 2009 by Pranee and Andrew Laurillard with its first restaurant in Brighton. It now operates 37 venues across the UK.