Other headline figures posted by the business that operates eight sites, included margins holding well despite some pandemic restrictions at 74.2% (76%: 2021); EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) grew to £1.96m (loss of £200,000: 2021); and group operating profit was £1.56m (loss of £580,000: 2021).
In its business review, managing director James Nye said the financial year (FY) began with “heavy restrictions” such as outdoor dining only and the ‘rule of six’ but the business set up restaurants and dining facilities in beer gardens and outside spaces to capitalise on recent capex developments such as beer gardens and outdoor bars.
Inflation highest in 25 years
It managed to retain staff during the FY22 despite Omicron and sites shutting due to Government guidance on isolation.
Supply issues and inflation have been felt and worsened as the year went on. “Inflation is not only evident on labour but rife across the business,” Nye said. “While the company has taken measures to protect with long-term contracts on energy and wet products, food inflation and other overhead inflation is higher now than at any other time in the 25 years the business has been running.
“Inflationary price increases have been passed on to customers to mitigate these cost pressures, which have helped to maintain revenue levels ahead of target so far through the current year, although the cost of living crisis is a clear risk with consumer confidence low and a potential reduction in discretionary spending in areas such as hospitality.”
Interest rates are a risk
He continued: “The rise in interest rates presents a risk to the business although the financial covenants have been stress-tested and are relatively robust with our current debt provider.”
Anglian said the net result for FY22 was “a very strong performance in the face of adversity” and it is seeking ways to expand existing site capacities and has taken on a new lease under the Hermitage Road site in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, which will provide a new coffee shop and meeting room space.
It added it will consider further acquisitions if the fit is right as opportunities come on to the market.