Oakman Group looking to almost double its estate in the next five years

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Oakman Group executive chairman Peter Borg-Neal (right) with CEO Dermot King: Planning to grow Oakman's portfolio to 70 sites by 2026
Oakman Group executive chairman Peter Borg-Neal (right) with CEO Dermot King: Planning to grow Oakman's portfolio to 70 sites by 2026

Related tags Oakman Group Multi-site pub operators Property New sites

Pub operator the Oakman Group has announced its plan to increase its number of sites from 36 to 70 by 2026 after forecasting year-end sales for 2021 to be in excess of £64m.

Since the start of the pandemic, Oakman has added nine sites to its portfolio along with almost 600 new investors, with the most recently opened pub, the Rose in Wokingham, trading in excess of £40k net per week.

Oakman Group CEO Dermot King said: “I am delighted with our progress to date, and I want to thank everyone in the Oakman family for their extraordinary efforts over the last eight months since re-opening.

“During this time, we have seen our business thrive against the most difficult challenges but this success hasn’t come from nowhere: it is an outcome of our huge focus on people.

“I often explain to people that we are not a pub company that develops people – we are a people development company that operates pubs.” 

Further new sites expected to open in 2022 include the Grand Junction Arms in Buckingham, which has been announced to open next Spring following renovations, as well as advanced negotiations for a site in Gerrard’s Cross.

Looking forward to the future 

Planning permission has also been secured for sites in Watford, Epsom, and Ludlow as well as the acquisition of a freehold site in Harpenden and application for planning permission to develop a three-storey pub.

Work has also been announced to start on a major project, Bush Hall in Old Hatfield, which is expected to be completed in 2023.

Oakman executive chairman Peter Borg-Neal said: “We have by far the best pipeline we have ever had and are looking forward to the future with great confidence.

“However, it is not just about the new sites. Our core estate continues to deliver big numbers with reassuring regularity.

“To see sites such as the Akeman in Tring and the Kings Arms in Berkhamsted, that are over ten years old, deliver sales in excess of £50k during November is not only heart-warming but also evidence of the longevity of our business.”

The pub operator, which began trading in 2007, has also launched its first FCA regulated fund raise since becoming a plc, allowing Oakman shares to be available to the general public.

Overwhelming support 

As well as buying the shares as an investment, subscribers will be offered discounts of up to 50% off food, deals on hotel bookings and invitations to new openings and major sporting events.

Oakman chief investment officer Steve Kenee said: “Although none of us would claim that 2021 was an easy year, it is one that we will end much stronger than when we started.

“While we are immensely proud of all our achievements, it’s perhaps the love and support that we have received from our new shareholders that have been the most overwhelming.

“This encouragement and backing sits at the heart of our vision of being owned by our staff and customers and is the reason we have become a fully-fledged plc which allows us to finally give all our customers the opportunity to own a share in their own local.”

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