Mowgli reports losses amid soaring energy bills

Liverpool Indian street food chain Mowgli reveals annual losses approaching half a million pounds amid rising energy and input costs, despite revenues rising above £30m. Tony McDonough reports

Nisha Katona
Nisha Katona, founder of restaurant chain Mowgli


Indian street food chain Mowgli has slipped back into full-year losses after initially returning to profit post-pandemic.

Liverpool-based Mowgli, founded by former barrister Nisha Katona, has posted its annual accounts for the 12 months to July 31, 2023. They show a 15% rise in revenues to more than £30.8m

They also show pre-tax losses of £476,456. This compares to a pre-tax profit of more than £1.8m in the previous year. Mowgli said it had been hit by rising energy  and input costs during the year.

In October 2023 the business entered into a new energy contract. However, it added: “The outlook remains volatile for energy costs and is being closely monitored by management. Energy reduction schemes are in place across the company.”

After practising as a barrister for more than 20 years, Ms Katona opened her first Mowgli outlet in Bold Street in Liverpool in 2014.

She had already written three cookery books prior to this and was known as ‘the Curry Evangelist’ on YouTube. Before launching the first outlet she had vowed never to open a restaurant.

Other restaurants quickly followed, initially in the North West and now across the UK. Mowgli now trades from 21 venues across the country with Nisha vowing to continue expanding the business, possibly overseas.

In a media interview in 2023, she said: “I do intend to build about four or five (restaurants) a year. Each restaurant generates about £60,000 per year for a local charity so I am really motivated for that growth. I want to create a workplace that enriches lives.

She has considered cities such as New York, Amsterdam and Dublin for new restaurants. Nisha explained: “International growth is something that is looping in my mind. The food is fresh and good for you, and I think places need food like that.”


Mowgli has proved a hit with diners across the UK


In January 2023 Nisha had sold a significant stake in the business to London-based investor TriSpan. Private equity outfit Foresight Group also sold its 24% stake in Mowgli. The deal was believed to value the firm at £25m to £30m.”

Mowgli now employs more than 700 people. During the accounting period it employed 42 people at its head office in Liverpool.

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Despite the full-year losses, and what it referred to as the “considerable uncertainty around the broader economic outlook for the UK” Mowgli remains upbeat about its prospects.

The report added: “The company believes that through a delivery of an excellent and consistent offer, a compelling value proposition and effective management controls it can withstand market pressures.”

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