Sales growth of 5.1% for Oakman Inns

By Claire Churchard

- Last updated on GMT

On the up: Peter Borg-Neal-led Oakman Inns has enjoyed good first quarter sales
On the up: Peter Borg-Neal-led Oakman Inns has enjoyed good first quarter sales

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Oakman Inns & Restaurants has seen a 5.1% rise in like-for-like sales for the 13 weeks to 1 July, according to a trading update from the pubco.

The figures for the first quarter of the current financial year are “an excellent result given the anomalous impact of the Easter period on the fourth quarter figures”, the company said.

First quarter sales totalling £8.8m revealed an almost 35% increase on the previous year, while average sales for the group’s fully developed pubs had reached a new high of £33,800 per week.

Two sites that opened at the end of 2017, the Beech House in Amersham and the Cherry Tree in Olney, both in Buckinghamshire, are reaching averages of about £43,000 net of VAT per week.

And the pubco’s most recent opening, the Four Alls in Welford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, has shown a strong performance early on with average sales of around £40,000 (net per week). Oakman said all three pubs are “performing considerably better than the original investment target”.

Opening date

Malcolm Schooling, property director at the group, used the announcement of results to confirm the Royal Foresters in Ascot, Berkshire, will open on 27 July.

He added: “Unfortunately, the opening of our site in Ascot has been delayed as a result of the dreadful winter weather, despite our best efforts. However, it is a huge project, and the important thing is that we remain focused on getting every element of the design just right. When we open on 27 July, we will be delivering an outstanding Oakman Inn that will justify the £10m investment we are making.”

The company has completed the acquisition of the Polecat in Prestwood, Buckinghamshire, and has exchanged on a site in Farnham, Surrey, which will be named the Lost Boy to recognise the town’s links with Peter Pan.

'Evolving our offer'

Oakman Inns chief executive Peter Borg-Neal said: “We are delighted with our performance in the first quarter. Our core estate continues to respond to the huge efforts we are putting into evolving our offer and engaging our people.

"We have seen a degree of polarisation with some of our town centre sites in mild decline while destination sites with large gardens have performed well. But this is weather driven and will normalise as the year progresses.”

He added: “Our ambitious investment programme is continuing to produce excellent results with all of our past five major projects delivering in excess of their investment targets. Our pipeline continues to crystallise, and we look forward to opening in Farnham, Prestwood, Hampton Hill, Epsom, Wokingham, Buckingham and Hatfield, over the coming 18 months.”

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