LEON has reported a revenue increase of 24.5% to £95m for the 12 months to 31 December 2018.
Revenue growth was from all LEON sites, including franchise sites. Revenue including USA was up 15.8% to £65.2m.
Like-for-like sales increased 15.2%, compared to 0.9% in 2017.
Adjusted EBITDA remained steady at £3.5m compared to 2017’s £3.6m, but grew 8.3% to £3.9m in the UK.
International sales were up 102% and now account for 10.6% of sales.
Nine new sites opened in 2018 with up to 20 planned for this year, including half overseas.
Of its sales, 53% were from plant-based menu items.
“2018 was a strong year for LEON,” says co-founder and CEO John Vincent (pictured). “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. 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 whilst 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.”