The London-based multiple operator, which operates more than 30 pubs, bars and restaurants, also revealed in its submission for the 52 weeks ended 2 May 2021 it had extended its revolving banking facility with Barclay’s to £6m to October 2024, to help support expansion.
The balance drawn on the facility so far is £3.5m with £1.5m of available headroom. Overall, the company posted a loss after tax of £69,780 (2020: £652,748 profit).
Presence retained in communities
Directors said: “The financial period presented a great deal of challenges with multiple total shutdowns of all hospitality businesses, restrictions on trading when our sites were able to open and significantly reduced customer footfall.
“During the lockdowns, the directors traded a number of venues as takeaway operations. This enabled sites to retain a presence within their local communities and provide a focus for our employees to remain engaged with the community.”
Urban Pubs & Bars also welcomed the furlough scheme, abolition of business rates for 2020-21, Eat Out to Help Out scheme, Government grants and lower rate of VAT on food sales but added “these measures in no way account for the significant loss of trade and profitability during the financial period and also into the current year”.
It was also grateful of support from the majority of its landlords, who were “generally supportive of the company’s trading situation”.
Lack of foreign tourists
However, the Government advice on working form home, combined with a lack of foreign tourists to the capital has, at times, led to fewer customers at its City and West End locations.
Directors added: “The company is in a strong financial position with the UK Government looking to avoid national restrictions such as lockdowns.”
The business reported £1m of capex was spent on new site acquisitions, refurbishments, site maintenance and investment in IT. Last year the operator acquired 13 sites from London bar group Barworks.