Rekom UK CEO ‘cautiously optimistic’ for post-Plan B trade

By Amelie Maurice-Jones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Recovering Rekom: Boss Peter Marks is 'cautiously optimistic' for the future
Recovering Rekom: Boss Peter Marks is 'cautiously optimistic' for the future

Related tags: Finance, Night time economy, Multi-site pub operators, coronavirus, Nightclub

Despite a rocky festive trading period, Rekom UK chief executive Peter Marks was “excited” for a future free from Plan B restrictions, and said young people should be celebrated for their responsibility.

This comes after Plan B measures, including the need for Covid Passes at nightclubs, were scrapped yesterday (19 January 2022) after being introduced on 15 December 2021. 

Marks was “cautiously optimistic” his business, which is the UK’s leading nightclub operator, would bounce back to normal trade in the coming months. “That’s what we were doing in 2019, plus a bit more”. 

Optimistic for the future 

He had faith Rekom’s young customer base would come back to clubs, with the return of students to university meaning he was “more optimistic than others in the sector”. 

He said: “Taking into account their own risk assessment of their own personal lives, they think, ‘I've had it, and if I get it again, it'll be mild’. 

“For once, I'm actually thankful I'm running a nightclub”. 

Rekom UK had “hobbled through” the Christmas period. Like-for-like revenue increased by more than 7% in the first week of December 2021, yet dropped by 22% across the month versus the same four-week period in 2019. 

“We were down 50% on profit. Our EBITDA for the period was £1.7m, and that was £854,000 behind budget, and we would have expected to have smashed budget because our run rate was way up,” said the chief executive. It's definitely cost us over £1m.

4th-10th

11th-17th

18th-24th

25th-31st

Total 4 Weeks Ending 31st Dec

L4L turnover England

+7%

-18%

-51%

-22%

-22%

L4L turnover inc Scotland (2 clubs) and Wales (4 clubs/bars) Week 4

+7%

-15%

-50%

-31%

-24%

Responsibility and positivity

However, Marks believed it would have cost the company another £1m, if not more, if English nightclubs were made to close.  

Commenting on the figures, he said the demand in the runup to Christmas showcased young people’s responsibility, how highly they valued nights out with friends, and the positive impact of nights out on self-development. 

“No one gives credit to young people,” he said. “Most of them are happy to just get on with it, and if the rules have changed, they'll just change to that.  

“We need to give young people more credit for being sensible; there's always going to be the idiots”.  

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