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Five Guys grills £150m worth of burgers as it bears down on 100 UK stores

Five Guys

Five Guys is now a £150m business in the UK after overcoming a “challenging” start to last year to record a 23% increase in turnover.

The burger chain plans to open between 10 and 15 new UK restaurants in 2019 (although two existing stores have closed this year so far) in a bid to try and maintain the momentum.

Five Guys currently operates 88 stores so if it meets its targets it will hit three figures for the first time since launching in the UK seven years ago.

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Annual accounts filed yesterday with Companies House by parent group Five Guys JV Limited show that sales rose from £121.9m to £149.6m year-on-year for the 12 months to 31 December 2018.

For the third year running, the company’s operating profit also grew – rising from £5.1m to £5.8m year-on-year.

However, it ended the period with a net loss of £4.7m due to the steep level of finance costs.

Five Guys was founded in Virginia, USA, by the Murrell family in 1986, who felt there was a need for a burger and fries concept that made food fresh from the finest ingredients and could offer spotlessly clean restaurants and amazing customer service.

They formed the UK arm as a joint venture with Sir Charles Dunstone, opening their first store in Covent Garden in July 2013.

In the annual report, the directors highlighted delivery as a key new revenue stream for the business and a way to reach out to new customers, and said they remain committed to growing its store count.

“The directors continue to believe that there are strong growth prospects in the premium burger market and intend to continue the rapid roll-out of Five Guys in the UK.”

Last year, the group secured a £100m bank facility from Goldman Sachs to aid UK and European expansion and to repay UK shareholder debt.

This has significantly reduced the blended cost of debt, with Five Guys promising to repay all UK shareholder loans in 2019.

Five Guys gears up for Liverpool kitchen project

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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