Revolution Bars to ‘resume site expansion’

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Trading upturn: Revolution Bar Group chief executive Rob Pitcher says significant progress has been made
Trading upturn: Revolution Bar Group chief executive Rob Pitcher says significant progress has been made

Related tags: Revolution

Revolution Bars Group has registered a 3.5% increase in revenue for the six months to 28 December 2019 as it prepares to resume expansion plans.

The Greater Manchester-based operator of 74 premium bars – trading under its Revolution and Revolución de Cuba brands – announced a 3.5% jump in total sales from £78.5m to £81.2m during the second half of 2019.

What’s more, the group revealed its like-for-like sales saw a 1.2% increase compared to the 4% slump seen over the 26 weeks ended 29 December 2018 – with like-for-likes across its Revolución de Cuba brand rising by 5%.

Additionally, Revolution saw pre-tax losses narrow from £3.48m to £1.6m, adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EDITDA) growth of 10.6% from £6.9m to £7.6m, while adjusted profits remained at £2.9m.

The group’s latest results herald a reversal in fortunes after a 12-month trading update for the year to 29 June​ revealed that like-for-like sales had fallen by 3.5% alongside a £5m year-on-year dip in adjusted profit before tax from £8m to £3m.

What’s more, following a slump in profits over the second half of 2018​, chief executive Rob Pitcher stated that the group’s priorities needed re-evaluating as he believed a lack of investment was hampering performance.

Discussing the group’s latest trading update, Pitcher explained: “We have continued to make significant progress revitalising the Revolution brand and further improving the performance of Revolución de Cuba.

“Having stabilised the business in the financial year of 2019, our 2020 financial year is about consolidation and the benefits of the many actions that we have taken are beginning to be realised.

“The second half of our 2020 financial year has started encouragingly and, should we continue on our current trajectory, the board is confident the business will be well-positioned to resume site expansion in financial year 2021.”

Resumption of expansion programme

As reported by The Morning Advertiser ​(MA​) in March 2019, Revolution Bars Group stated that its focus had switched from opening venues to reviewing and refurbishing its existing sites​.

According to its latest statement, the group invested £1.4m on the refurbishment of seven sites – five Revolution bars and two Revolución de Cuba bars – during the second half of 2019.

The announcement that Revolution plans to put expansion plans back into motion follows the closure of underperforming venues​ in Lincoln and Fallowfield, and the sale of sites in Lancaster, Liverpool and Wolverhampton, which had already ceased trading, as revealed by MA​ in January 2020.

On top of this, the group has exchanged contracts to surrender leases at five underperforming sites at a cost of £3.6m since the end of the latest reporting period while six further refurbishments have been earmarked for the second half of 2020 and three Revolution bars have already been revamped at a total cost of £450,000.

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