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Wed 4th Dec 2019 - Loungers reports sales and Ebitda growth in H1
Loungers reports sales and Ebitda growth in H1: Loungers has reported sales increased 22.0% to £79.8m (2019: £65.4m) in the 24 weeks to 6 October, with like-for-like sales growth of 5.4%. Adjusted Ebitda of £14.7m, up 25.6% (2019: £11.7m). Adjusted profit before tax was £2.6m (2018: pre-tax loss of £4.3m). The company is on track to deliver 25 new site openings this financial year and going forward. A total of ten new sites opened in the period and a further five sites opened post the half year end. An additional ten new sites are scheduled in H2 (eight Lounges and two Cosy Clubs), bringing the group total to 171. The company said its new site pipeline remains strong into 2021/22 with its strategy is to open 25 new sites per annum. Chief executive Nick Collins said: “I am delighted to announce another strong set of results which continue to highlight our consistent outperformance against the market. This will be the fifth consecutive year we have opened at least 20 new sites and we remain excited by the prospects and potential for both our Lounge and Cosy Club formats and the significant opportunity we have ahead of us. We have delivered sector leading like-for-like sales growth of 5.4% alongside a 0.4% improvement in our Ebitda margin. This has been achieved alongside opening ten new sites in H1, delivering impressive overall sales growth of 22% and successfully listing the business on AIM. Looking ahead, the strength of our FY20 openings to date and the continued evolution of our offer further underpins our confidence in continuing our current growth rate of 25 new openings per year and the potential for more than 400 Lounges and 100 Cosy Clubs across the UK.” He added: “Both Lounge and Cosy Club continue to work hard to evolve and develop their customer proposition. New drinks ranges were introduced across the business in November to ensure our range reflects current trends and that we benefit from our increasing scale. We are pleased with the initial customer reaction to these changes, which include a new draught beer and wine range. October saw the roll-out of our new winter food menus with continued innovation, not only of the menu but also in kitchen processes and efficiency. We have continued the roll-out of the kitchen re-set programme to improve the efficiency of our kitchens and the working environment of our back-of-house teams. This initiative has been completed in 58 sites within the Lounge estate to date with work on the re-set programme due to recommence in January 2020 and continue into the 2021 financial year. The success of the group remains due in large part to the commitment of our people and the excellent hospitality which they consistently provide our customers with each and every day. I would like to thank our teams for their continued hard work and dedication. In order to accommodate our continued geographic expansion and growth we have continued to evolve and invest in the group’s regional operating structure.”

Restaurant Marketer & Innovator European Summit 2020 open for bookings: Restaurant Marketer & Innovator European Summit is returning for its third year, with tickets now on sale. The event is a partnership between Propel and Think Hospitality and aims to build a community, promote idea sharing, recognise talent, and define the future of eating out. Bookings are now open for the two-day conference, which is the centrepiece of the January event series and takes place on 21 and 22 January at One Moorgate Place in London. The event will focus on marcomms strategies, proposition and concept development, market insights, technology and digital developments, building strong links between marketing and operations, embedding a brand throughout a hospitality business, and future trends. It is designed for marketing, development and innovation teams as well as senior executives and investors who want to better understand the latest marketing, innovation and development opportunities to build market share and grow. The event will feature more than 60 speakers with a unique blend of senior marketers, business leaders and entrepreneurs. Day two speakers will include Puttshack marketing director Sophie Evans, who will talk about taking on a new challenge in the experiential leisure sector and how she gains buy-in and delivers a strategy that drives real commercial results, while Fleet Street Communications managing director Mark Stretton will interview Be At One co-founder Rhys Oldfield about his journey from bartender to building and exiting the 32-strong cocktail bar group. Meanwhile Emma Causer, group sales and marketing director at Zonal, will lead a panel featuring Tortilla managing director Richard Morris, Sushi Shop chief executive Christopher Jones and Marco Pierre White Restaurants managing director Brandie Deignan on how to create a culture that embraces and encourages innovation. City Pantry chief operating officer Sharon Lee will host a panel featuring Wagamama business development director Andre Johnstone, Eatclever co-founder Robin Himmels, and Pizza Hut Restaurants UK head of marketing Priten Mistry to discuss the formats and opportunities being fuelled by the growth of delivery and take out. For the full agenda, click here. Tickets for operators for the two days are £575 plus VAT and £345 plus VAT for one day. Tickets for suppliers are £795 plus VAT for the two days and £445 plus VAT for one day. Tickets can be purchased from Propel by calling Anne Steele on 01444 817691 or emailing anne.steele@propelinfo.com

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