Loungers' turnover boost

By Mark Wingett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cosy club, Private equity, Recession

Loungers in Bournemouth: success in the sun
Loungers in Bournemouth: success in the sun
Loungers, the privately-owned group behind the Lounge and Cosy Club concepts, has reported a 55% growth in turnover for the 12 months to 30 April,...

Loungers, the privately-owned group behind the Lounge and Cosy Club concepts, has reported a 55% growth in turnover for the 12 months to 30 April, after opening four new sites during the period.

The company, led by managing director Alex Reilley, saw turnover for the year climb to £10.9m, while unit EBITDA was up from £1.46m to £2.46m and underlying EBITDA increased 88% to £1.64m.

Reilley also revealed a "marked increase" in recent interest from private-equity firms, although he was quick to dismiss the prospect of an imminent deal.

He said: "With the aid of a bit more bank debt the business is at a point where we can grow at a pace which is operationally sensible for us at this time and we are, therefore, not seeking an equity partner."

However, he added: "We believe we can comfortably reach 32 sites by April 2013 and the three of us that own the business will almost certainly be considering our options ahead of this date." The group ended the financial year with 17 sites, having opened four outlets, including its first Cosy Club site in Taunton, Somerset, in September. It aims to add a further seven sites by the end of April 2012 and is pushing on with rolling out its Lounge and Cosy Club concepts.

The group's second Cosy Club is due to open in Bath in mid-June, followed by Santo Lounge in Shirley, Southampton, in early August.

Reilley confirmed that the group has two additional Lounge sites lined up in Bournemouth, as well as another Lounge outlet in Birmingham. In addition it has secured Cosy Club sites in Stamford, Lincolnshire, and Exeter, Devon.

The group is also thought to be looking at opening its first Cosy Club in Cardiff.

Reilley said: "We are obviously extremely encouraged by the performance of the business and are particularly buoyed by the contribution of the units we've opened in the past year.

"Our decision to grow more aggressively against the backdrop of the economic downturn was considered extremely brave by many, but has certainly paid dividends.

"We've got a fully-stocked pipeline to take us up to 24 sites by the end of April 2012. And we are now working on site opportunities beyond our new financial year, of which we have two sites already at advanced stages of negotiation."

Reilley also confirmed that the group's geographical strategy would remain.

He said: "We've got our pitch marked out and believe there's still loads of opportunities, easily enough to take us beyond 30 sites, within a three-hour drive of Bristol without going into London."

Related topics: MA Leaders Club

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