Bath Pub Company lfl revenue up 34% v 2019

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Rising costs: Bath Pub Company managing director Joe Cussens says there is no help with ever-increasing energy prices
Rising costs: Bath Pub Company managing director Joe Cussens says there is no help with ever-increasing energy prices

Related tags Finance Multi-site pub operators Pubco + head office

Bath-based pub operator The Bath Pub Company has reported a 34% increase in like-for-like (lfl) revenue in the first half of 2022 versus the same period in pre-pandemic trading in 2019.

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Joe Cussens, managing director of the business that operates four pubs in Bath – Marlborough Tavern, Hare & Hounds, the Moorfields and the Locksbrook Inn – said: “We’re pleased to report that we’ve managed to grow our revenues strongly compared to pre-pandemic trading.

“We invested heavily into our estate over the past couple of years – in particular the outdoor areas where we’ve added outdoor bars and expanded trading areas; those developments are now bearing fruit.”

Extremely challenging

He continued: “However, despite the strong growth in revenues, current trading conditions continue to be extremely challenging. Supplier cost increases, especially energy are impacting margins and staff shortages are leading to wage inflation that is very difficult to manage. These are undoubtedly going to present challenges this year.

“However, we are in a generally affluent part of the country with a resilient customer base and have good pubs in good locations, so, while we are concerned about the trading outlook, we are also optimistic we will come through it in a strong position.”

Cussens added the increase in revenue has not been matched by a corresponding increase in profits.

No help with energy costs

In April 2022, Cussens was one of the first operators to state the rising costs of energy pose a bigger threat to hospitality than the pandemic​.

He said at the time: “This energy crisis has come along and is a different matter [to Covid] altogether because there are some horrendous cost rises we’re being hit with, and unlike the pandemic, there’s no help coming, in fact, quite the opposite.”

On the subject of increasing interest rates last week, he tweeted: “Don’t see how raising interest rates is going to solve this inflation problem – prices are rising due to supply chain issues and huge energy price increases, not an overheated economy. If anything, feels like this would add to the problem.

“Our loan servicing costs have just increased meaning we’re more likely to put up our prices to help cover them.”

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