Thursday 17 October 2019

'Beast from East' fails to chill growth at Boojum chain

Hunger for growth: the Mexican restaurant chain opened seven new outlets
Hunger for growth: the Mexican restaurant chain opened seven new outlets

Gordon Deegan

A number of days closure brought about by the 'Beast from the East' weather conditions last year was not enough to prevent revenues soaring at the firm behind the Boojum chain of restaurants.

New figures filed by Modern Restaurants Concepts Ltd show that revenues at the business increased by 52pc, from €12.14m to €18.46m in the 12 months to the end of April 23 last.

The directors said 2018 "was a year of substantial growth" for the casual Mexican burrito restaurant business, with the opening of seven new outlets. The business is led by 2018 EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist David Maxwell.

The business opened outlets at Mespil Road, Hanover Quay, Smithfield, George's Street and the IFSC in Dublin, as well as one in Limerick and another on the Lisburn Road in Belfast.

By April 23 last, the firm had 17 outlets in Irish cities. Costs associated with the expansion resulted in operating profits decreasing by 35pc to €744,269. The business recorded pre-tax losses of €653,456 arising from foreign exchange losses of €205,499, interest charges of €274,407 and exceptional costs of €917,819. The exceptional costs relate to costs arising from delayed openings plus one-off costs incurring in recruiting additional staff. Also included are the costs from store closures and paying staff during the 'Beast from the East' in March of last year.

The directors state that "overall, it proved to be a very positive transitional year for Boojum. By the end of the period, the group had a strong foothold in Ireland, new stores were established and management was well positioned to explore new opportunities to drive the business forward".

The pre-tax losses include combined non-cash depreciation and amortisation costs of €1.29m.

The company's operating lease charges more than doubled from €350,644 to €738,088. Numbers employed increased from 248 to 422 with staff costs increasing from €3.62m to €6.48m.

Irish Independent

Also in Business