The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a "severe disruption" of the Insomnia coffee chain business here.

That is according to the directors of the holding company for Insomnia, BHJ Holdings who state that Covid-19 hugely impacted the performance of the group in 2020 "and is expected to have a significant impact on the 2021 performance too".

The directors say that while the duration of the pandemic is unknown, they are satisfied that it is taking all steps to ensure that the business will trade through these difficulties.

Insomnia's rapid growth here in recent years has resulted in the brand operating 170 stores, including franchises, and 500 sites with self- service machines.

The business here includes 75 high street outlets along with having a presence in around 60 Spar stores.

The brand has also linked up with Meadows & Byrne, Eason, Maxol, Londis and Penneys as part of its expansion.

It also operates out of 17 outlets in the UK.

The business is currently dealing with Government Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions and a spokeswoman for Insomnia said on Thursday: "Covid-19 has and continues to have an enormous impact on our business with a significant number of stores temporarily closed."

The spokeswoman said that Covid has accelerated the roll out of the brand’s digital plans including a new online store going live in the next month which will feature a coffee subscription service.

She stated: "We continue to review the changing needs of our customers and are assessing the most appropriate business formats and locations for new coffee offerings including Drive Thru’s going forward."

In a note attached to the accounts, it says that the current known impact of Covid-19 on the group "is a decline in revenues from March 2020 due to closures and a restricted ability to trade our owned stores resulting in reduced Earnings Before Interest Tax Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA)".

The note states that management has taken steps to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19 including the use of supports made available by Governments.

The directors say that the company has carried out a robust modelling of the crisis on trading in 2020 and 2021 and the board is confident in the resilience of the business model to allow the company positively face the challenges ahead.

The major disruption to the business caused by Covid-19 followed a strong performance by the business in 2019.

The new accounts for 2019 show BHJ Holdings Ltd recorded a 12.5% increase in 2019 to €4.16m.

This followed revenues rising by 19% from €30.9m to €36.77m.

The business operates here and in the UK and the bulk of growth took place here in 2019.

The group's Irish revenues increased by €5.3m or 19% from €28.53m to €33.9m in 2019 while UK revenues increased by €488,000 from €2.38m to €2.86m.

The company paid a dividend of €2m to parent firm, Insomnia Coffee Ltd. The directors state that Insomnia Coffee Ltd "will not be paying any dividends to its shareholders as a result of this".

Underling the expansion of the business in 2019, numbers employed increased from 441 to 508 as staff costs increased from €10.1m to €12.1m.

On the future of the group, the directors state that the group plans to further develop and consolidate its activities in addition to monitoring and managing the impact of Covid-19.