Estate review reveals ‘robust’ trade at Barkby Group

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Estate review: Barkby pubs are premium sites with accommodation (Credit: Getty/ The Good Brigade)
Estate review: Barkby pubs are premium sites with accommodation (Credit: Getty/ The Good Brigade)

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Barkby has completed a review of its pubs business, focusing on measures to return its estate to profitability in the next financial year.

In November, the group announced plans to dispose of its pub estate​ amid “strategic change”, but said it would keep its core business of premium gastropubs.

As part of the latest review, cash neutral early lease surrenders have been agreed for the Harcourt Arms in Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire, and the Ebrington Arms in Ebrington, Gloucestershire.

The company​ has also received an offer for the Plough at Kelmscott, West Oxfordshire, which has been accepted in principal and is now in the conveyancing process.

Subject to a successful sale of this pub, the board expects the residual estate to comprise six high-quality pubs with rooms located in the Cotswolds, Oxfordshire and West Sussex.

Facing challenges

Barkby Group executive chairman Charles Dickson said: "The hospitality sector faces a significant combination of challenges from cost inflation, the frequency and value of customer spending and securing reliable, experienced labour.

"Our estate has delivered robust trading by offering excellent service, consistently high-quality food and attractive accommodation in areas of outstanding natural beauty."

Barkby pubs are premium sites with accommodation included, and flag a trend away from branded pubs and large hotels.

Looking forward

Its offer is led by excellence in service and food, and focuses on providing classic and sophisticated modern British cuisine with the best seasonal ingredients alongside produce.

The company aims to return its pub business to profitability​ in the next financial year by improving labour planning and efficiency, stock control processes and reporting systems.

The board also believes there are several synergies between the pubs business and its Roadside Real Estate strategy.

Many of its pubs enjoy prominent roadside locations, and management is exploring opportunities to create new sources of revenue through the installation of Ultra-fast EV charging hubs. This would hopefully enhance guest facilities, draw new footfall and attract new customer demographics to the sites.

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