Po Na Na improves estate after profits fall

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Related tags: Po na na, Profit

Po Na Na Group is disposing of underperforming outlets and tightening up controls as it prepares for future growth.Bars in Croydon and Cardiff have...

Po Na Na Group is disposing of underperforming outlets and tightening up controls as it prepares for future growth.

Bars in Croydon and Cardiff have been sold while a third in Swansea has been closed and is on the market. The company is also selling two of the seven venues that it bought from Luminar last year because they do not fit its operating criteria.

Manchester style bar Ampersand, which Po Na Na acquired last year, has also been sublet under a management agreement because trade has been "disappointing".

Chief executive Christian Arden said: "The Po Na Na estate is under constant review and under-performing sites will be sold if they cannot be improved. The Po Na Na and Fez brands have demonstrated both longevity and the ability to continually regenerate and evolve."

He said the management had begun to turn around the former Hammersmith Palais in West London, where it took over full control last year, after sales plummeted in March.

With the costs of flotation and assuming full control at Hammersmith, its pre-tax profits fell by 17 per cent for the year to March 31 to £1.5m.

However, group turnover rose by 56 per cent to £30.2m and operating profit was up 27 per cent to £3.05m.

Mr Arden said innovations at Po Na Na Hammersmith have "generated a marked uplift in performance", with sales up to an average of £62,000 per week over the past three months.

This is partly due to hosting a 1980s club night called SchoolDisco on Saturdays, where customers dress up in school uniform.

"This has brought capacity attendances, high bar spend and excellent press coverage, all of which are expected to aid the general promotion of the venue," Mr Arden said.

The group is pressing ahead with roll-out of its Po Na Na clubs and Fez bars after opening nine new units over the year in Aberystwyth, Sheffield, Bath, Hull, Manchester, Wimbledon, Putney, Lincoln and Leicester. It now has 58 outlets.

Chairman Gary Pettet said: "The site pipeline remains strong and the group is well placed to continue its development. Our forward strategy is to continue the group's growth but to do so within tight financial and operating criteria."

Related topics: Other operators

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