The sandwich chain Pret a Manger has returned to worthwhile operations after two years through which it misplaced a cumulative £570m.
Saying buying and selling figures for the primary six months of 2022, the corporate stated its restoration has “continued and accelerated”, with half-year revenues greater than tripling yr on yr to £357.8m, serving to it return to profitability in March and changing into cashflow optimistic since Could.
Demand in Pret’s residence UK enterprise has bounced again, though the coronavirus pandemic has modified the sample of gross sales, with the strongest progress outdoors London.
There have been “notably sturdy regional and suburban gross sales”, it stated, though a 3rd of its 442 UK outlets are nonetheless within the capital. The opening of 27 outlets this yr has meant it now employs 8,700 folks within the UK, whereas throughout all of its operations it employs 11,500.
The chief govt, Pano Christou, stated the corporate “grew quickest in among the locations the place we solely had a handful of Pret outlets earlier than”.
Pret’s gross sales slumped throughout the pandemic as employees had been compelled to remain out of city and metropolis centres by lockdowns. It made a lack of £226m for 2021, after a £343m loss in 2020.
Nonetheless, the corporate, which opened in 1986, has wager that buyers will return to comfort meals en masse after the top of pandemic restrictions in its main markets. It plans to double the dimensions of the enterprise inside the subsequent 5 years, together with via worldwide expansions akin to a launch in India introduced final week. The Indian retailers might be run by Reliance Industries, the fossil gas and retail conglomerate owned by the billionaire Mukesh Ambani.
In the course of the pandemic, Pret has been compelled to name on £200m of economic help from shareholders together with JAB Holding Firm, a Luxembourg funding car for Germany’s billionaire Reimann household who additionally personal manufacturers starting from Dr Pepper drinks and Krispy Kreme doughnuts to fragrance from Calvin Klein and Burberry.
Since September, Pret has signed offers to open outlets in Canada, Eire, Spain and Portugal, along with the India deal. In addition to increasing geographically, Pret has been pushing into digital gross sales, together with a espresso subscription that may be purchased on-line. There at the moment are greater than one million subscribers per week, up from 667,000 in 2021, Pret stated.
Christou additionally pledged additional worldwide progress for the model. He stated: “The chance now’s for us to take that progress and apply it internationally.”
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