Giraffe reports 17% rise in earnings ahead of UK and international expansion

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Giraffe, United arab emirates, Fast casual restaurant

Giraffe, the restaurant chain led by serial investor Luke Johnson, has reported a 17 per cent rise in pre-tax profits in the last financial year ahead of significant expansion plans in the UK and abroad
Giraffe, the restaurant chain led by serial investor Luke Johnson, has reported a 17 per cent rise in pre-tax profits in the last financial year ahead of significant expansion plans in the UK and abroad
Giraffe, the fast casual restaurant chain chaired by Luke Johnson and backed by Risk Capital Partners and 3i, has reported a 17 per cent rise in profits in the last financial year and has revealed it has the funds to continue expansion plans in the UK and abroad.

In the 52 weeks to 25 March Giraffe's 47 restaurants jointly increased turnover by 34 per cent to £40m generating EBITDA earnings of £4m.

The restaurant group, led by founder and managing director Russel Joffe, is planning to open up to 6 new sites this year as it also gears up for an international expansion programme beginning in Dubai.

Travel hubs

"This is another strong performance from the Giraffe business," chairman Luke Johnson said. "Our brand will shortly be launched internationally with a site in the United Arab Emirates. UK expansion has continued this year with the opening of five further sites."

In the last twelve months Giraffe has opened new restaurants in Bath and Chelmsford as well as two shopping centre locations including in Westfield Stratford. The brand's first quick-service restaurant (QSR) concept, giraffe STOP, also opened in the new concourse at London King's Cross train station​ and is, according to the company, trading ahead of expectations.

Travel hubs now form an important part of the development plans for Giraffe with five airport restaurants, including at Gatwick and Heathrow,​ alongside the QSR brand extension​.

"The Board are very pleased with the early performance of giraffe STOP and the expansion of the brand in to travel hubs. Despite the continued growth in restaurants, there remain many well-populated towns, cities, and leisure parks that Giraffe plan to serve over the coming years," Johnson added.

Adult-focused

Johnson and Joffe said the business continued to have the bank facilities for further expansion and acquisition.

As well as Russell Joffe, two other founders of the business, Andrew Jacobs and Juliette Joffe, remain involved in the operations of the brand which now operates three brand extensions.

As well as the grab and go train station concept, Giraffe also operates the adult-focused Giraffe Bar and Grill brand and the Giraffe Burgers & Cocktails restaurants, formerly known as Guerrilla Burgers.

Among the Giraffe portfolio, one restaurant in James Street operates under the burger concept and there are now two bar and grill sites after an acquisition and conversion of a site in Leeds which opened in March this year.

"We are now almost at 50 UK sites," Russel Joffe said. "Our key focus this year is to recruit and retain the best industry talent to support and underpin our continued expansion, both nationally and internationally," he concluded.

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