Boojum’s pretax losses rise on expansion costs but revenues soar

Burrito bar chain says it plans to open more outlets across Ireland

Boojum: the casual Mexican burrito restaurant business has 18 outlets. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Boojum: the casual Mexican burrito restaurant business has 18 outlets. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

 

Expansion costs at the company behind the Boojum chain of restaurants last year contributed to a 48.5 per cent rise in its pretax losses to €970,778.

Accounts filed by Modern Restaurant Concepts Ltd show that revenues at the business increased by 28.5 per cent to €23.72 million in the year to the end of April 28th last.

The bulk of Boojum’s growth last year occurred in the Republic, where sales increased by 36.5 per cent from €11.94 million to €16.29 million. Sales in Northern Ireland increased at a slower rate of 14 per cent from €6.52 million to €7.42 million.

The casual Mexican burrito restaurant business, which had 18 outlets as of last April, is led by 2018 EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist David Maxwell. The brand operates outlets in Dublin, Limerick, Galway, Cork, Derry, and Belfast.

Store impairment

The group’s exceptional costs last year totalled €903,005. Exceptional items arose from pre-opening costs of €212,284, other non-recurring items of €314,852 and the impairment of fixed assets of €376,869. The directors said they recorded the impairment after deciding not to proceed with a planned store opening.

Employee numbers at the business last year increased from 422 to 444 as staff costs increased from €6.4 million to €8.32 million.

The group’s operating profits before exceptional items decreased 71.5 per cent from €744,269 to €212,153 mainly as a result of a sharp rise in non-cash depreciation charges.

The operating profit takes account of combined non-cash depreciation and amortisation costs of €1.8 million. The group’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation last year remained at the same level of €2 million.

The directors of the company said its “underlying performance continues at market trading levels” and that the group was “expected to continue to benefit from substantial recent investment to open more outlets across the island of Ireland”.