City Pub Group trading at two thirds of previous sales levels

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Company bosses: City Pub Group chief financial officer Tarquin Williams (left) and chairman Clive Watson (right)
Company bosses: City Pub Group chief financial officer Tarquin Williams (left) and chairman Clive Watson (right)

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Multiple operator City Pub Group has reported like-for-like sales were at 63% of previous levels and total sales for the three weeks since reopening half its estate on 4 July were £1.8m.

On 4 July, City Pub Group reopened half (24) of its 48 sites with a further eight sites opening over the past fortnight, taking the total number of pubs currently trading to 32.

The group is aiming to open its remaining sites over the next two months or earlier if social distancing measures are relaxed further.

A statement from the group highlighted stand out performances from a number of its sites including the Hoste in Burnham Market, Norfolk, which is reaping the benefits of a significant increase in domestic tourism.

Significant reductions

The business said it made significant reductions across its cost base including payroll costs, consumables, satellite TV, entertainment and recruitment.

Combined with operational efficiencies from the streamlined offering, this has meant the company can trade profitably and generate cash over the past three weeks.

The board is also continuing to review the group’s head office and pub costs. It has already made savings at these levels and further savings have been identified with the review set to be completed by the end of September.

Future confidence

A centralised sales and marketing department has been implemented, replacing functions previously managed at site and regional level.

In a statement, the company said: “The profitable performance since reopening is a reflection of the quality of our asset base and the professionalism demonstrated by all our staff – a large number of whom have been with the group for a number of years.

“Again, the board wishes to put on record its gratitude to all its stakeholders. The board remains confident it will be able to rebuild its sales to previous levels on a much lower cost base.”

This comes after the group announced it was “well placed to reopen a reset, more efficient, streamlined business”​ post-lockdown after revealing a strong trading performance in 2019.

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