THE restaurant group led by chef Nico Simeone made a loss of £1.2m in the 15 months to last June but created 277 jobs in that period despite the coronavirus pandemic as his new meal delivery business was starting up.
Glasgow-based Simeone Group said ready-to-eat delivery business Home X had “played a pivotal role” in helping it “survive the challenges of Covid”.
He said Home X had contributed £7.3 million in revenue between the launch of this business in October 2020 and June 2021.
In the 15-month accounting period to last June, Simeone Group’s revenue totaled £18.1 million. Revenue was £9.1m in the 12 months to March 2020.
Simeone Group, which is 100% owned by Mr Simeone and has built his Six by Nico restaurant portfolio, said it recorded an operating and after-tax loss of £1.2million over the 15 months preceding June 2021, after exceptional events.
He added that before exceptional items he had an operating and after-tax loss of around £400,000 for the 15-month period, compared to a profit of £2million the previous year.
Simeone Group noted that its creation over the 15-month accounting period of 277 additional jobs, mostly in Scotland, had taken its overall workforce to 474 at the end of June 2021.
READ MORE: Will 2022 be the year holidays abroad are painless again? : Ian McConnell
He added: ‘With the UK hospitality sector hit by coronavirus restrictions, the Simeone Group’s decision to invest £1.5million in a ‘home eatery’ business has helped safeguard hundreds of jobs at the worst of the crisis.”
The Home X operation, which the Simeone Group says is centered on a 12,000 square foot “dark kitchen” at Anniesland in Glasgow, delivers chilled meals across the UK.
Simeone Group said: “Imagination and creativity are ingrained in the company’s DNA – qualities on which Home X relied heavily and at one point more than 150 staff were employed by the company. .”
READ MORE: Brexit: Ian McConnell: One year on, we’re all reaping what Brexiters have sown
Simeone Group Chairman Rob Wirszycz said: ‘When you consider that our restaurants were closed and unable to trade for 32 of the 64 weeks covered by our accounts – and even when they were open they were subject to capacity dramatically reduced – these results are simply amazing. . They are a testament to Nico’s leadership and the resilience and determination of the entire company.
The group noted that it now employs 560 people in its 11 restaurants and industrial black kitchen.
He added that he had since the end of the year opened two other Six by Nico restaurants, at Canary Wharf in London and in Dublin. The group has two Six by Nico restaurants in Glasgow and another in London, in Fitzrovia. There are also Six by Nico restaurants in Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool and Belfast.
The Simeone Group noted that it had also opened a Chateau X steak restaurant in Glasgow.
He also launched Beat 6, a restaurant in Dennistoun in Glasgow which, the band noted, donates 100% of its profits to the Beatson Cancer Charity.
Mr Simeone, who started the business in 2017, said the pandemic had proven to be “an existential threat” to the UK hospitality industry.
He added: “When we realized how unsettling it was going to be, with shutdown after shutdown and with capacity restrictions even when we were allowed to open, we knew we had [to] to offer something radically different if we were to survive. It’s one of our proudest accomplishments that we launched Home X in just over seven weeks, from initial idea to first meal delivered to customers.
“Even we couldn’t have predicted the incredible demand. At its peak, we were mailing out 6,000 restaurant-quality meals with wine for customers to enjoy at home, with overwhelmingly positive feedback.