Expansion costs weigh on profits at Boojum fast food chain

The cost of expanding into most cities across Ireland has weighed on the profits of the firm behind the Boojum fast food chain of restaurants.

New figures filed by Modern Restaurants Concepts Ltd show that revenues at the business climbed 52% to €18.46m in the 12 months to April 23 last year. However, the costs of expansion meant operating profit fell by 35% to €744,269. It posted a pre-tax loss of €653,456, which included foreign exchange losses of €205,499, interest charges of €274,407 and exceptional costs of €917,819.

The business, which is led by 2018 EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, David Maxwell, said 2018 “was a year of substantial growth”. It now has a number of outlets in Dublin as well as restaurants in Belfast, Cork, Limerick, and Derry. The exceptional costs include costs from delayed store openings as well as one-off costs incurred in recruiting and paying staff during the storms last year.

“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 company said.

The outlook was “positive” for the current financial year, saying it would gain from “new sales and cost efficiency initiatives”. The pre-tax loss includes combined non-cash depreciation and amortisation costs of €1.29m. Its operating lease rental charges more than doubled to €738,088. Staff numbers rose to 422, while staff costs increased by 79% to €6.48m.

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