Oakman Inns CEO predicts ‘Brexit bounce’ in consumer confidence

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Trading success: Oakman Inns reported an uplift in sales that it hopes will continue
Trading success: Oakman Inns reported an uplift in sales that it hopes will continue

Related tags: Oakman inns

Peter Borg-Neal celebrated a boost in like-for-like sales at his pub company and predicted pubgoers would be more confident now there was a “clear direction of travel” over Brexit.

He said there would be some economic momentum following the conclusion of the election period.

Oakman Inns enjoyed a 7.3% increase in like-for-like sales in its most recent trading update, for the 15-month period up to 30 June 2019.

The company extended its financial year to 15 months to avoid the issue of Easter falling either side of the year end and confusing comparable numbers.

In the 12 months leading to the same date, its turnover was £38.3m and like-for-like sales went up by 6.4%.

Borg-Neal said: “UK earnings’ growth has comfortably outstripped inflation over the last 18 months and, in normal circumstances, this increase in disposable income would be an extremely positive indicator for market conditions in the hospitality sector.” 

Restrained spending

He continued: “However, spending has been restrained by weak consumer confidence, driven by uncertainty over Brexit and I believe it is reasonable to conclude that there may well be a bounce in consumer confidence – and hence spending – now that the country has a clear direction of travel.”

The pub group’s turnover was £46.7m in this period, during which time it also opened four sites. 

Pubs were opened in Welford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire; Ascot, Berkshire; Hampton Hill, south-west London; and Prestwood, Buckinghamshire; with plans for at least three more new sites to open in the new year.

Borg-Neal added: “We have maintained our corporate momentum despite an unhelpful environment with the uncertainty around Brexit impacting both consumer and investor confidence. 

“We believe that the post-election period will bring some momentum into the economy and we expect the new Government will keep its promises with respect to a root-and-branch reform of business rates.

“Coupled with our desire to become the ‘third place’ in the communities we serve, Oakman is well placed to continue to grow and serve its customers in 2020.”

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