How customers flocked back at cafe bar group Loungers

Cafe bar group Loungers has beaten pre-pandemic sales as customers flocked back to its sites following the lifting of Covid restrictions earlier this year, the company revealed.

Loungers has beaten pre-pandemic sales as customers flocked back to its sites.

Bosses also said they have yet to see any impact from the new Omnicron variant of Covid-19 on its business.

Revenues hit £102m in the six months to October 3, up from £53.5m during the same period a year ago and up from £79.8m in the same six-month period before the pandemic.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Pre-tax profits were £12.8m compared to a £117,000 profit a year ago and a £2.5m pre-tax loss in the six months in 2019.

The boost in sales on a two-year basis comes despite four weeks of the period covering the Covid restrictions where customers could only be served outdoors and nine weeks when indoor service was restricted.

Loungers was helped by bosses opening 12 new stores during the period, with a further 13 planned by April next year.

The company said it is managing rising inflation on the costs of products with differential pricing and has hedged its energy costs until 2024 to avoid rising prices for gas and electricity.

Bosses said they plan to open more sites - focusing on suburban locations to benefit from a shift to home working, with customers heading to their local high streets rather than into city centres.

Chief executive Nick Collins said: "Our value for money, all-day offer appeals to a very broad demographic and this underpins our market-leading performance in towns and suburbs across England and Wales.

"We will open 25 sites this year as we continue to benefit from the changing dynamics of the high street and our pipeline of new sites has never looked so strong.

"Our sustained growth alongside our operational discipline are enabling us to manage and mitigate most inflationary pressure.

"As we move into the Christmas trading period any potential impact of Omicron remains to be seen, but as we look ahead to 2022, I am very optimistic with regards to our prospects and the continuing rollout of both Lounge and Cosy Club."

---

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today.

Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you'll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers.

So, please - if you can - pay for our work. Just £5 per month is the starting point. If you think that which we are trying to achieve is worth more, you can pay us what you think we are worth. By doing so, you will be investing in something that is becoming increasingly rare. Independent journalism that cares less about right and left and more about right and wrong. Journalism you can trust.

Thank you

James Mitchinson