Pret seeks to delay repayment of pandemic loan debt

Pret a Manger is trying to delay debt repayment after two years of lockdown turbulence as it tries to secure its future.
// Pret a Manger is seeking to delay debt repayment following additional borrowing it has taken on during the pandemic
// The sandwich seller has until June to repay £66.7million in loans after extending its finance facilities to help it through a tough time when office workers shunned its central London heartland.

Pret a Manger is trying to delay debt repayment after two years of lockdown turbulence as it tries to secure its future.

Pret has until June to repay £66.7million in loans after extending its funding facilities, according to The Telegraph. The sandwich vendor has taken on debt during the pandemic as a lack of office workers traveling to city centers has weighed on sales.

A separate £605million loan facility is due to expire next summer.

Pret has been hit hard during the pandemic. According to accounts filed at Companies House, it reported an operating loss of £257m in 2020 after sales fell 58% to £299m.

According to filings, its directors are now seeking to negotiate the extension of the first debt tranche and refinance its largest bank facility in the company’s filings.


READ MORE: Pret a Manger increases the price of the coffee subscription service


However, the takeaway catering business has admitted there are factors beyond its control, such as new Covid restrictions and the “associated unpredictability of consumer behavior”, which could impact its ability to continue its activity.

But he said there was a ‘reasonable expectation’ the company would be able to continue operating and meet its obligations and would seek shareholder support if needed.

Pret may still be on the road to recovery, however, boss Pano Christou is aiming for growth and plans to open over 200 stores across the UK and expand overseas over the next two coming years. The expansion comes after owner JAB and founder Sinclair Beecham injected £100m into the chain.

The coffee and sandwich specialist, which has traditionally focused on retail in central London, will expand its footprint into regional and suburban areas alongside transport hubs and motorway service stations, with around 100 new franchise stores.

Click here to sign up for the free daily Retail Gazette newsletter

Tana T. Thorsen