The operator of 173 sites across England and Wales under the Lounge and Cosy Club brands, opened all of its sites on 17 May when the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions allowed pubs and bars to resume indoor trading for groups of up to six people or comprising two households.
This came after the group re-opened 88 of its sites for outdoor trading only from Monday 12 April as per the Government’s post-lockdown roadmap.
Like-for-like sales over the four-week period from 17 May to 13 June 2021 were up by 26.6% versus the period between 20 May to 16 June 2019.
According to a trading update from Loungers, trading has benefited from significant pent-up demand and the VAT reduction, with the group “encouraged” by the initial strength of its sales performance.
Loungers finished the financial year ended 18 April 2021 with 168 sites, having opened three new sites during the year.
In the period between 19 April and 13 June a further five Lounge sites opened in Wolverhampton, St. Ives, Stourbridge, Welwyn Garden City and Blackpool.
What’s more, the operator’s net debt at 18 April 2021 was £34.6m, with a further £12.9m of outstanding rent and deferred liabilities to HMRC.
“I am really pleased with how the business has re-opened and our trading performance has once again demonstrated the resilience of both the Lounge and Cosy Club brands,” Loungers’ chief executive Nick Collins said. “Customers have returned with confidence and our team have performed amazingly.
“Whilst the Government’s recently announced decision to leave the remaining restrictions in place for a further four weeks is disappointing for the hospitality sector as a whole, we look forward to a return to normality on 19 July.”
In an interim results statement in December, Loungers revealed while its revenue fell by 33% to £53.5m in the six months to 4 October, earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the period stood at £13.2m with a slim profit before tax of £117,000.
Loungers will next update the market on 21 July 2021 when it publishes preliminary results for the year ended 18 April 2021.