‘Customer malaise’ hits InnBrighton

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cost

Expensive: Free Butt’s closure during the year was costly
Expensive: Free Butt’s closure during the year was costly
InnBrighton, the Brighton & Hove-based licensed multiple retailer, has posted a 19.1% fall in EBITDA for the year to 30 June 2011, with rising costs, poor weather and “customer malaise” hitting sales.

The operator of 43 pubs, bars and clubs reported turnover down £130,870 to £20.75m. EBITDA (post exceptional costs) was £2.58m (2010: £3.19m).

But pre-tax losses narrowed to £1.1m (2010: losses of £2.85m), with administrative expenses down £1.77m to £14.21m after last year’s exceptional charge of £2.3m relating to impairments of fixed assets (2011: £201,456).

Other exceptional items in the year to 30 June 2011 include a £279,813 guaranteed payment for leases at two sites which closed for some or all of the period: 27 Gloucester Place and the Free Butt, Phoenix Place.

Chief executive Gavin George, said: “Sales generation was impacted during the year by VAT rises and consumer malaise resulting from negative signs in the economy. Poor weather in the second quarter of H1 had significant impact on the group’s seafront sites, which were impeded during a traditionally busy time.

“Duty rises and other statutory cost increases had an impact on business running costs. But the directors believe the geographical concentration of the business, quality of retail sites and proven management ability to meet needs of a specialist consumer base leave the group well-positioned to trade through the most challenging conditions.” Staffing was trimmed by 17 to 65; staff costs decreased 2.4% to £1.367m.

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