The healthy eating restaurant group says sales climbed 24.5% to £95m in the full year, up from £76.3m in 2017. Adjusted UK EBITDA was up 8.3% to £3.9m, from £3.6m in 2017. According to the company, 53% of it salesare now from plant-based menu items.
During the period, nine new restaurants opened, with to 20 new restaurants planned in the next year – including 10 overseas. International sales were up 102%, now accounting for 10.6% of sales, with new restaurants recently opening in the US, Norway and Spain, with a restaurant in Ireland due to open imminently.
Leon plans to open 20 restaurants across Irish cities by 2023, with the first restaurant, in Dublin’s Temple Bar, opening later this month.
“2018 was a strong year for LEON. Against a tough backdrop for our industry, our fantastic team showed that when you have a great menu, excellent service and welcoming locations, people will come,” says co-founder and chief executive John Vincent.
“We have all seen the struggles being faced by the casual dining industry, with cautious consumers choosing carefully at the same time as businesses contend with increased costs, and so we take nothing for granted. However, seeing the business deliver 18 consecutive months of like-for-like growth while opening a further nine restaurants shows we’re responding to the challenge in the right way.
“It is encouraging to see that what we set out to do as a business when we started in 2004 - to deliver Naturally Fast Food that is good for you while being good to the planet – is proving popular with guests not only in the UK where we started, but now also overseas. We took some big steps in 2018 to take the LEON concept to new markets including the US and Ireland, and this expansion will pick up further pace in the year ahead.”