Convivial reports trading turnaround

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Profit Hotel London pubs Chairman

Convivial London Pubs, the eight-strong London estate that was previously run as Capital Pubs II, has reported a turnaround in trading performance in the year to 1 October 2011, with pre-tax profits up 32.3% to £474k.

Turnover increased 2.75% to £5.09m, with like-for-like sales up 5.4% and pub EBITDA up 7% to £1.54m. Operating profit increased 11.2% to £757k, and interest charges fell 12.2% to £283k.

Meanwhile, Samantha Cox, former managing director of Vinopolis who previously worked with Convivial chief executive Kris Gumbrell at Greene King, has joined the company as chief operating officer.

Gumbrell said: “We are very pleased with the improvements in the trading and profitability of the group. During the year we developed a further four pubs, three of which were completed in the last quarter, so we are still to realise the true added value of the investments.

“Our costs and wages remain under control and we are in great shape for the coming year.”

Sales in the quarter to the end of December 2011 grew 7% across its seven managed pubs; one of its sites is leased to another operator.

Gumbrell said the results were “particularly pleasing in that our largest pub, the Mitre in Greenwich was partially closed for redevelopment of the hotel rooms which will include eight new ensuites”.

“This site will fully re-open in March with 24 ensuite bedrooms located within a five minute walk to Greenwich Park. The team are very excited about the opportunity that the Olympics offer.”

Despite the partial closure of the Mitre, sales grew 17.6% over the festive period, while “January has started surprisingly well and we are confident of the year ahead”.

Convivial chairman David Maxwell Scott said the company was “cautiously optimistic” for the current trading year, saying Convivial was “fortunate” to be operating in London and he pointed to the benefits of the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee this year.

The company maintained its policy of not paying a dividend, using the money to pay down debt or invest in the estate. Net debt at the period end was £6.21m (2010: £6.36m).

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