As the group, which operates 69 bars and 21 gastropubs, predominantly under the Revolution, Revolución de Cuba and Peach Pubs brands, announced its first half (H1) of its financial year (FY23) results, it also said it is FY23 H2 lfl sales have been minus 6.8% to date, an improvement of 2.6% percentage points on H1.
The group faced external headwinds impacting profitability during FY23 H1, including transport strikes, a downturn in consumer confidence as a result of the cost-of-living crisis, record hot weather and cost inflation.
However, it said early indications show the trading environment should improve with consumer confidence “bottomed out” and energy prices “trending in the right direction”.
Resonating with guests
It added there is evidence its brands are resonating with guests following record breaking like-for-like pre-booked party revenue (versus the most recent non Covid-affected period) over the festive period, refurbishments performing well and the latest new bars performing in line with expectations.
Group net debt was £23.1m as of 6 March 2023, made up of £27m drawn down revolving credit facility and £3.9m cash, with £6.9m headroom available on the facilities.
Revolution Bars Group chief executive Rob Pitcher said: “We have faced well-documented macroeconomic challenges, which impacted profitability in the half year.
“The team has done everything it can to mitigate the cost headwinds and other factors outside of our control, and I am immensely proud of our people for delivering an amazing Christmas to our corporate guests, delivering an all-time record of pre-booked sales for the group.”
He continued: “Walk-in custom was hampered by industrial action, reduced consumer confidence and the hot summer, and we look forward to increased guest confidence in the coming months as energy prices continue to fall from their previous peak and inflation abates.”
Pitcher added the acquisition of Peach Pubs in October 2022 has helped diversify its offering and customer base. The Peach estate has continued to see pleasing performance and delivered “excellent” Christmas trading while “synergies between the businesses” have developed and new and exciting opportunities have been identified.
He stated: “Management continues its focus on navigating the current macroeconomic situation, developing the business, and putting in place further building blocks for future growth.
“The board remains confident the business is on track to achieve market expectations for FY23 and we anticipate some sales recovery in 2024.”