For the 13 weeks to 4 October, total like-for-like sales across the 28-site Group – which comprises Oakman Inns and Ashmore Inns – were up 40.6% year-on-year, rising to £15.1m.
For its 24 Oakman Inns sites, sales increased by 25.4% to £13.3m year-on-year – a £2.7m boost – while its four Ashmore Inns sites contributed £1.3m to total sales.
When broken down by revenue stream, Oakman’s food sales saw a 45.5% uplift versus the same 13-week period in 2019 while wet sales grew by 12.7%.
What’s more, room sales across the group fell by 52.3% year-on year.
Appeal to Government
Oakman Inns’ executive chairman Peter Borg-Neal hailed the 13-week period as the highest sales quarter in company history and recognised considerable progress in repairing damage done to the Group’s balance sheet during lockdown.
“These numbers are clearly excellent and bear close scrutiny,” Borg-Neal explained. “Even if you discard the benefit of the VAT cut and the Eat Out To Help Out Government funding there is still underlying double-digit like-for-like growth – what is more this is not just LFL but comparable growth as none of the 23 sites have benefitted from significant capital expenditure in the last eighteen months.”
As reported by The Morning Advertiser, Oakman has pledged to fund Eat Out to Help Out-style customer discounts throughout October after their sustained success throughout September.
“We would like to commend the Government for the excellent sector support provided through the business rates holiday, the VAT reduction, Job Retention Scheme and Eat Out To Help Out. All have been strategically intelligent and executed efficiently.
“Going forward, I would hope that we can prove to Government that, with the burden of taxation eased, this is a sector that can make a huge contribution to economic growth. In particular, we are a meritocratic industry that can provide a gateway to employment for young people and give them an opportunity to forge a progressive career.
“Less welcome has been the unfair and illogical restrictions placed on our industry and we hope that greater Parliamentary scrutiny will lead to wiser decision making going forward. In particular we would like to see the removal of the current curfew arrangement which, remarkably, manages to damage both public health and the economy.
“I would also appeal to the Government to recognise that further support is required for the night-time economy who have suffered disproportionately to date through no fault of their own.”