Brighton Pier Group has issued a profit warning following “broadly flat year on year” bar sales over the Christmas period.
The group, which incorporates Brighton Pier, Eclectic Bars Limited and Paradise Island Adventure Golf, said profit before tax would be in the region of 18% lower than expectations in a trading update for the six months to 31 December 2018.
Brighton Pier Group, which is chaired by entrepreneur Luke Johnson, said that trading conditions were “challenging across parts of the estate”, which would mean earnings from the bar division would be lower than previously expected.
This was exacerbated by the protracted closure of the company’s Fez bar in Putney for a refit, disappointing weather over the August bank holiday which impacted trading at Brighton Pier and disruption to railway services into the seaside town.
Rail disruptions are expected to continue into 2019, including during the February half term, but the group says when completed an improved service will benefit business.
The golf arm of the business is trading in line with expectations, with a new site to open in April 2019 taking it to seven locations.
CEO Anne Ackord said: “Whilst I am disappointed at the rail network disruptions currently affecting the Pier, once they are complete, this will be of great benefit to future visitors travelling to the city and consequently to our Brighton businesses.
“Despite these challenges the Company’s Pier, Bars and Golf businesses remain well invested, strongly cash generative and well positioned for future growth.”