Results were in line with the company’s expectations. Full year like-for-like (lfl) sales of 1.3% had been delivered in its 56 English bars after 19 July 2021 when restrictions were fully lifted in England.
Revolution Bars saw this as a strong result given the disruption caused by the Omicron variant and subsequent plan B restrictions in place across the Christmas trading period.
Lfl sales for the full group, including Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, where restrictions on trade were slower to lift, were 0.3% for the period after 19 July 2021.
Revolution Bars Group chief executive Rob Pitcher said the company was in great shape. He continued: “The business is well positioned with a net cash position to fund our new site and refurbishment programme.
“It has been exciting to see the positive results of our refurbishment and expansion strategy this year and to see our young guests, who place real importance on socialising, continue to enjoy themselves in our bars.”
The company said they had not been immune to inflationary pressures yet continued to mitigate these wherever possible with a “relentless focus” on cost management.
A spokesperson commented: “Our industry leading sustainability agenda has allowed us to reduce our carbon footprint and mitigate, in part, the widely reported energy cost price increases.”
The businesses’ energy prices remained largely fixed until spring 2023. Furthermore, the company’s focus on training and retention had reduced the burden of colleague turnover, which allowed the company to spend less on recruitment.
The spokesperson continued: “We are delighted to see our guests continuing to enjoy themselves in all our sites, particularly at our new openings and recently refurbished sites.
“While summer is a traditionally quieter time in our business, we are seeing Christmas bookings building much earlier than last year giving us confidence not only in a strong Christmas but also more generally that confidence has returned to the Corporate market.”
Refurb programme in motion
The company’s refurbishment programme is on track with 19 refurbishments completed during the year, representing 28% of its LFL estate, and these are delivering returns in line with its payback target of two years.
Some 16 of these refurbishments have been in Revolution branded sites and 3 in Revolución de Cuba sites. Additionally, two new Revolution branded sites, in Exeter and Preston, had been launched.
“Our new concepts, Founders & Co. and Playhouse, have initially been well received and we are excited about the potential opportunity for further expansion and the optionality this brings to the Group,” added the spokesperson.
The company expected to refurbish a further 18 sites in FY23 alongside six planned new site openings. Net cash on the 1 August 2022 was £2.6 million.
The Group intends to publish its Preliminary Results for the financial year ended 2 July 2022 on 18 October 2022.
Pitcher said: “Our vision and strategy to delight our guests is delivering. The business is well positioned to continue to progress, is well funded for our new site and refurbishment programme, and we are seeing Christmas bookings building much earlier than last year.
“Our success is thanks to the whole team's hard work and their ability to create fun and memorable experiences for our guests."