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Tough times for Honeycombe

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Bad weather and tough trading conditions have been blamed for a 2.5% fall in like-for-like sales at pubs and restaurants group Honeycombe Leisure during the six months to 31 October 2004.

The group said three badly performing outlets had dragged down the figures. One of the outlets has now been sold and another refurbished and is now “producing good results”.

Turnover for the period increased to £18.41m, up from £16.43m a year earlier. This largely reflected the inclusion of sale from the six-strong Ma Hubbards restaurant chain, which were not included in the previous year’s figures.

Operating profit fell to £1.37m (2003: £1.63m), following increased administrative expenses relating to the Ma Hubbards sites, which Honeycombe manages on behalf of the Great English Pub Company.

Chairman Sandy Anderson said: “Challenging trading conditions and poor weather were experience across the estate, as indeed they have been generally across the High Street with consumer discretionary spend showing constraint in the last quarter of 2004.”

But he added that the company was pleased with trading over the Christmas and New Year period, when like-for-like sales rose by 1%.

Anderson said: “The tough and competitive trading conditions remain. We will continue to look for growth through our management services capabilities, whilst running our core estate effectively.”

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