Mowgli reports annual losses of almost £500k over soaring energy bills

Nisha Katona quit her job as a barrister to start her own business
Nisha Katona quit her job as a barrister to start Mowgli -Credit:Liverpool Echo

Liverpool restaurant chain Mowgli says energy costs are still “volatile” after rising bills helped push it into the red.

Mowgli was founded by former barrister Nisha Katona and has become one of Merseyside’s best-known businesses.

For the year to July 31, 2023, Mowgli Street Food saw sales of £30.9m, up 15% on 2022. That increase was driven by the opening of two new restaurants during the year, as well as growth at its existing venues, accounts filed at Companies House show.

READ MORE: Scenic walk thousands drive past on M62 everyday that ends in an unexpected surprise

READ MORE: Waterfalls, Japanese gardens and a lively pub - why isn't this everyone's go-to in Liverpool?

But the company reported a pre-tax loss of £476,000 - down from a profit of £1.9m the year before. “Administrative expenses” rose from £17.7m in 2022 to £21.3m last year.

In a statement signed by director Matthew Peck, the company said it had been hit by the cost of living crisis, saying “management pay close attention to inflationary pressures and continue to work with suppliers to ensure margins are protected”.

Mr Peck added: “Higher energy costs led to an increase in overheads in 2023. These have since been reduced through entering a new fixed contract from October 2023. However, the outlook remains volatile for energy costs and is being closely monitored by management. Energy reduction schemes are in place across the company to mitigate future increases.”

But Mr Peck remained upbeat. He said: “While considerable uncertainty remains around the broader economic outlook for the UK, the company believes that through delivery of an excellent and consistent offer, a compelling value proposition and effective management controls, it can withstand market pressures.”

Since the end of the year the company has opened another four restaurants, taking it to 21 sites in total. It now employs 704 people, up from 633 the previous year.

The company has also announced it will open another restaurant in Cheshire this year and more openings are on the way. Mowgli announced in January 2023 that it had secured investment from private equity group TriSpan - and in its latest results, Mr Peck said: “The company continues with its expansion plans with a pipeline of future openings being developed following the investment by Trispan.”

Speaking in February, Mowgli founder Nisha Katona said: "I'm uncompromising that this is a North West, Liverpool story. This city is full of people like me who could fill a gap in the market. I was a woman in my 40s who didn't have a clue and I went and built it with my own hands at night. I hope it inspires other women in Liverpool to do it better and benefit the nation and world if they can. This city has the power to help you succeed so I want to push that to everyone I can."