Growing Mexican burrito chain Boojum reports £250k pre-tax loss

Mexican fast-food chain, Boojum has reported a pre-tax loss of £250,000. Picture by Hugh Russell.
Gareth McKeown

MEXICAN fast-food chain Boojum has reported a pre-tax loss of £250,000 as it continues on a programme of rapid expansion on the island of Ireland.

Before tax the company reported a loss of £250,710, a dramatic shift from the £1.1m profit recorded for the previous 12 months.

After tax Boojum posted a loss of £185,041, compared to an overall gain of £857,309 in 2017.

The Mexican burrito bar reported turnover of £9.4 million for the year ending April 23, a two per cent increase on the 2017 total, while gross profit grew by four per cent from £6m to £6.2m.

Average staff numbers grew by 22 per cent over the year from 180 to 220, resulting in a 37 per cent jump in the company's annual wage bill to £3.8m.

In the strategic report accompanying the accounts, the Boojum directors described 2018 as a "very positive" financial year for the company.

Explaining the loss in profits, the directors attributed it primarily to the continued expansion of the Boojum brand in Ireland.

"During the year seven new stores were opened by the company's subsidiaries. As a result of this growth the company has borne the increased costs arising from the requirement for a larger and more diverse team to support it," they said.

"These costs represent those associated with the executive team, directors and the central HR, finance, marketing and property management functions of Boojum plus corporate and professional fees, including some exceptional costs arising from delayed store openings."

The directors also cited the inclement weather conditions of the 'Beast from the East' last year as a factor.

"The bad weather experienced during the heavy snow periods, widely termed the 'Beast from the East', resulted in the closure of the company's stores in the Republic of Ireland and minimal trading in the Northern Ireland stores. This resulted in a loss of revenue while full staff and overhead costs continued to be paid," they continued.

Looking ahead the company is optimistic about 2019.

"The outlook is positive for financial year 2019 which will benefit from new initiatives in the stores as well as from the investments made in the centralised business functions," the directors added.

Just last week Boojum opened its 18th restaurant on the island of Ireland in Derry following a reported £400,000 investment.

Founded in Belfast in 2007, Boojum has five outlets in the city, in addition to nine in Dublin as well as sites in Galway, Cork and Limerick.

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