Oakman looks to increase estate size by 25%

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Pub group boss: Oakman founder and executive chairman Peter Borg-Neal
Pub group boss: Oakman founder and executive chairman Peter Borg-Neal

Related tags Multi-site pub operators Oakman Group Peter Borg-Neal MA Leaders

Multiple operator the Oakman Group has secured what is directors believe to be its “strongest ever pipeline of new sites”, which would result in the business growing its estate by a quarter (25%).

In a trading update, Oakman revealed total sales (net of VAT) for the 31 weeks ending Sunday 6 February 2022 were at £37.9m – 74.3% more than last year when businesses were forced to shut.

Compared to the same period two years ago, it also represented total growth of 28.3% and like-for-like growth of 12%.

Taking into account and adjusting for VAT reductions, the Oakman Group like-for-like sales were up 8% or 11% taking the three weeks leading up to Christmas out of the equation.

Sales report

Furthermore, the company’s wet sales have risen, which it stated given the lower staff costs, will have a disproportionally positive impact on profits.

In addition, the company reported weekday accommodation sales as below budget and in line with abnormal working patterns but it has mitigated this by focusing on the leisure market for its rooms.

The company has also completed a £29m refinance of its freehold estate with Cynery Bank of £18m.

Oakman Group chief investment officer Steven Kenee said: “I am delighted we have been able to complete the refinance with Cynergy Bank, which has proven to be a pragmatic and responsive partner over the past two years, and I am grateful for the faith and support it has showed the business.

“The transaction significantly reduces our cost of capital, simplifies our corporate structure, and further strengthens the foundations from which our ambitious plans for the group will grow.”

Landmark deal

Cynergy Bank relationship director Steve Crosswell said it was a landmark deal and one it was keen to transact with the group, which he labelled “an outstanding operator”.

Meanwhile, the group has recently completed “significant refurbishments” on two sites and is set to open two more new venues within the next two months in Buckinghamshire and Tring, Hertfordshire.

Following the launch of an FCA Regulated Share issue, the company has seen more than 300 new shareholders join since it was launched on 17 December 2021.

Oakman chairman and founder Peter Borg-Neal has also announced to shareholders a development of green credentials as the company has created a kitchen garden at the Akeman Inn, Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire.

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