Restaurant/café/bar operator Loungers has reported a 38% growth in turnover for the year to 30 April, thanks to six new openings over the period.
The private equity-backed firm saw turnover climb to £15.06m, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was also up, by nearly 28% to £3.14m.
The group ended its financial year with 23 sites. The six new sites included new Lounge sites in Southampton, Hove, and two in Bournemouth, as well as two Cosy Club sites in Bath and Stamford.
Commenting on the results, managing director and co-founder Alex Reilley (pictured) said: "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."
Reilley also indicated that, following a £16m investment from private equity backer Piper, along with increased bank support from Santander, Loungers would open as many as 10 more sites by April 2013. "We are now in a position to take the rate we expand the business up a notch," he said. "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."
The group opened its 24th site, Verdo Lounge in Wylde Green, Sutton Coldfield, in May and is currently on site in Salisbury developing its fourth Cosy Club, which will open in August. It is also understood that work will soon start on a Lounge in Christchurch, Dorset, following the successful outcome of a planning appeal on the site, and that builders will also be on site in Cardiff in the next couple of months, where the group is set to open its largest site to date, a 7,300sq ft Cosy Club, in late autumn.
Reilley also confirmed that the group was targeting a number of locations in the North-west, where he predicted it would be "extremely active", with three sites (one in Liverpool and two in Manchester) already at the legal stage. This is in addition to Lounge sites in Bristol, which would be its 6th in the city, and Portishead, north Somerset, as well as a sixth Cosy Club site, in Exeter, which is likely to open early next year.
By Neil Gerrard
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