Pitcher called on Boris Johnson to accelerate on-trade opening while commenting on the release of 67-site Revolution’s interim results for the 26 weeks to 26 December, and as it was revealed that 32m people across the UK have had their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
“With the vaccination programme running ahead of the Government’s expectation and all the Covid-19 related health data exceeding even the most optimistic of forecasts, I look forward to all restrictions on personal freedoms falling away on the Monday 21 June and urge the Prime Minister to follow the data, not dates, and bring our ‘national day of freedom’ forward in line with the vastly better outcomes that have been achieved,” he said.
“We are excited and ready to bounce back and as we move on from the pandemic, I look forward to our brilliant teams being able to create amazing memories for our guests as we open our bars and all come back together to celebrate life and each other.’’
Pitcher’s comments come a day after customers returned to pubs, with outdoor trading areas such as beer gardens and terraces open for business as of Monday 12 April in keeping with the Government’s lockdown road map.
As previously reported by The Morning Advertiser (MA), the company behind Revolution and Revolución de Cuba bar brands resumed trading at 20 of its sites on 12 April with the remainder of its bars poised reopen on 17 May.
According to its most recent statement, 11,969 guests have booked to visit a Revolution site in the first week that its booking system opened for Monday 17 May 2021 onwards.
Outperforming peer group pre-pandemic
As per the group’s latest results statement, total sales for the six months to 26 December totalled £21.6m – down by £59.6m from £81.2m during the equivalent period in 2019.
What’s more, Revolution registered an £11.5m loss before tax in the first half of the current financial year, compared to a £3.5m pre-lockdown profit in early 2020.
However, Revolution highlighted that pre-Covid, both its Revolution and Revolución de Cuba brands were in like-for-like growth – registering 1.6% growth during the 10 weeks from Christmas 2019.
What’s more, its results outlined that when free to trade without Government restrictions, the group was highly cash generative, reducing net bank debt by £6.5m to £8.4m in the six months to December 2019.
“Prior to the pandemic the business was outperforming our peer group,” chief executive Pitcher explained.
“This year has provided us with the opportunity to advance the business across multiple areas which will allow us to maximise our future performance and capitalise on growth opportunities as we move towards more normalised conditions.”
According to a statement on 4 March, the Group estimated in December that if unable to trade due to enforced closure the Company’s cash burn would be approximately £400,000 to £450,000 per week. At that time, the Group had £17.6m of liquidity headroom.
As of 3 March 2021, the Group had net debt of £27.1m with available liquidity resources of £9.8m.