Itsu has “aggressive” plans for expansion after increasing revenues more than 20% to £67.9m thanks to consumer demand for healthy food on the go.
The Asian-inspired food chain, launched in 2009 by Pret A Manger co-founder Julian Metcalfe, also achieved like-for-like growth of 6.8% in 2014.
Metcalfe put the performance down to a “low-fat, low-sugar food revolution” in Britain. The business opened ten more outlets in 2014 to end the year with a 50-strong estate. It expects to add another ten by the end of the current financial year.
Margins also improved significantly in 2014, with profits after tax rising to £1.7m and EBITDA up 32.7% to £6.9m.
“Itsu’s awesome performance is the result of surging consumer demand for healthier meal choices at affordable prices,” Metcalfe said. “Through quality ingredients and vibrant menus, we are meeting consumer appetite to lead healthier lifestyles. Due to the incredibly positive customer response to new locations outside London, regional expansion plans have also been accelerated and we’re confident the remaining openings in 2015 will be a success.”
So far in 2015, Itsu has extended beyond the core lunch-time offering into breakfasts, evenings, longer opening hours and new menu launches. Metcalfe added that growth had swelled another 20% year on year to date.
In May, Itsu and popcorn brand Metcalfe’s Skinny were demerged into two separate entities, with parent company Metcalfe’s Food changing its name to Itsu Grocery.