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Oakman Inns reports growth - but issues Brexit warning

By James Evison contact

- Last updated on GMT

Peter Borg-Neal: ""We will not be slowing down our plans for growth"
Peter Borg-Neal: ""We will not be slowing down our plans for growth"

Related tags: Buckinghamshire, Website, United kingdom, Eu

Publican Award winner Oakman Inns reports like for like growth in Q1 of 5.1% - but issues Brexit warning as well.

The operator, based predominately in the south east and especially the home counties, said it would continue to grow as a result of the current strong performance, but said that uncertainty following the EU referendum result would inevitably have an impact.

Peter Borg-Neal, CEO of Oakman Inns & Restaurants, said it would be 'foolhardy' to claim that Brexit was not a concern to the hospitality industry, but said that personally the lack of exposure to London by the operator, and the focus on prosperous areas, mitigated this risk.

He was an critic of Brexit, and even appeared on the BBC Question Time discussion on the EU referendum regarding the issue.

Borg-Neal also said he had an 'impressive pipeline' of work and that more deals should be expected on sites by the end of the summer.

Speaking about the launch of the first Hunky Dory Pub with Enterprise​, which will see the operator working under the pubco's 'managed expert' concept, he said: “The first Hunky Dory Pub that Oakman will operate for Enterprise Inns will open in Solihull next month (August) and will become the third site in the fledgling Beech House brand.”

Commenting on the results, he said: “We are very pleased with our Like for Like growth in Q1 of 5.1%. Our MAT of LFL growth now sits at 6.1%. The rate of growth has been slower in recent weeks at around 2%. We had expected some fall off as major sporting tournaments are negative for us but we, like most people, didn’t anticipate the result of the EU referendum.

“I think it would be foolhardy to claim that the prevalent uncertainty in the economy is not of concern. Certainly, we believe that the economy will slow and there is a chance of recession.

"However, we have no London exposure and our focus on the prosperous South East provides a degree of reassurance.

“As ever, when the economy wobbles, the battle for market share tends to intensify. However, we have a robust strategy, excellent people and, importantly, the momentum of strong current performance.

"We will not be slowing down our plans for growth and we have agreed terms for two more sites in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. These are in addition to the site we have previously acquired in Amersham.

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