Sports Cafe has shook off the termination of takeover talks to finish 2006 with an increased property portfolio and a significant boost in sales.
The group finished 2006 with a 29% increase in turnover to £18.2m (2005: £14.1m) while reducing their operating losses to £553,000 (2005: £692,000) after expanding their estate to eight UK sites with openings in Liverpool, Newcastle and Bristol.
A ninth site in Cardiff is planned to open in early 2008 after delays due to hold-ups in the development of the complex it is housed in.
However, chairman Ian Lenagan warned that there was only a limited number of cities able to sustain the Sports Cafe model. Future growth will come from complementary brands and smaller sites in 2007.
He added that their goal of sustainable growth would be driven by a "combination of organic growth and future acquisitions".
In September 2006 the bar chain had received an informal approach from an un-named party but on 17 January this year the company said "it had terminated all offer related discussions."
Lenegan said the fragmented nature of licensed entertainment in tandem with the implications of new licensing laws and the staggered implementation of the smoking ban would lead to further consolidation activity.
February saw a change in chief executive for the first time in 11 years with Bill Balkou stepping down and Peter Marks coming in. Nalkou remains on the board and as development director.
By Christopher Walton
E-mail your comments to Christopher Walton here.