Oakman demerges Seafood Pub Company, sales up in H1

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Demerging of businesses: Peter Borg-Neal, Dermot King and Joycelyn Neve
Demerging of businesses: Peter Borg-Neal, Dermot King and Joycelyn Neve

Related tags Oakman Group Finance Multi-site pub operators Seafood pub company Dermot King Joycelyn Neve

Oakman Group has announced its Seafood Pub Company brand will be demerged and will go its own way under the leadership of Dermot King.

The Seafood Pub Company, which was founded by Joycelyn Neve in 2010, was acquired out of administration by Oakman in March 2021 after the business struggled to see off the effects of Covid.

With the disposal of the 10-site business, Oakman will continue operating with 33 sites and five in the pipeline.

The announcement cam as Oakman filed its accounts for the first half (H1) of its financial year ended 2 July 2023. During this period, sales rose by over 6% from £54.4m to £57.8m and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) was £1.8m.

Christmas trade growth

Oakman also reported a strong end to H1 of its financial year 2023-24 with sales over the Christmas trading period showing growth over the prior year.

For the five weeks ended 31 December 2023, the core Oakman Inns business delivered sales of £7.7m representing an increase of 9.5% on the prior year and like-for-like (LFL) growth of 4.5%.

The positive Christmas trading had continued a trend of gradual improvement in performance, following a more challenging start to the first half of the financial year driven by the unseasonably poor weather in July and August.

Conditions remain challenging

In addition to delivering sales growth, Oakman has made significant progress with respect to cost reduction and profit delivery. For the 26 weeks ending on 31 of December 2023, the business reported total group sales of £32.3m (up 4.1% versus prior year), site EBITDA of £5.4m (up 10.4%) and business EBITDA of £2.4m (up 40%).

Oakman Group chief executive Peter Borg-Neal said: “External trading conditions remain challenging. However, I am delighted with the way the whole team has come together to deliver significant profit recovery over the past six months.

“The business is in great shape to meet the near-term challenges we face and to deliver significant growth in the medium-term.”

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