Debt repayments drag coffee firm Pret A Manger to 33m losses

SANDWICH chain Pret A Manger is struggling to pay its interest on its growing debt mountain, it has been revealed in figures filed by Companies House.<br />Bridgepoint Capital, its private equity owner, saddled the group with debt during the boom time, but interest payments have now grown on its &pound;325m borrowings.<br /><br />The eaterie, founded in 1986 by Julian Metcalfe and Sinclair Beecham, now owes &pound;175.6m in bank debt and &pound;150m in loans from shareholders.<br /><br />According to figures filed at Companies House by holding company PAM Group, turnover was &pound;190.2m and operating profit was &pound;14.4m&nbsp; from when Bridgepoint took over on 3 April last year until 1 January.<br /><br />But the interest payments on the borrowing have dragged the group&rsquo;s pre-tax figure down to a loss of &pound;34.2m.<br /><br />The debt repayments mean the group now only has &pound;23.5m in the bank, despite strong trading.<br /><br />The sandwich chain recently hiked the price&nbsp; of a black coffee by almost 22 per cent despite the price of beans tumbling.