Brighton Pier Group bars recovered momentum over New Year following Christmas slump

17 January 2022 by
Brighton Pier Group bars recovered momentum over New Year following Christmas slump

The Brighton Pier Group has said despite "some impact" of Omicron restrictions on trade in December, its bars recovered momentum over New Year, trading 9% up on 2019.

In a trading update for the 26 weeks to 26 December 2021, the company – which operates Brighton's Palace Pier, eight bars, eight mini golf courses and acquired the Lightwater Valley Theme Park in North Yorkshire in June 2021 – said the period started strongly and business continued to deliver "an extremely robust performance".

It said it expected total sales of £22.7m, up 177% on the same period in 2020 and up 31% against the same period in 2019. Brighton Palace Pier like-for-like sales were up 15% on 2019 and Lightwater Valley was trading ahead of expectations.

Like-for-like sales across the group's bars for 23 weeks of the period, the venues having reopened from end of July, were up 27% on 2019. Its golf division's like-for-like sales were up 33%.

Strong cashflow generation was expected to enable the group to pay down £7.7m of debt, reducing borrowings 38 % by the end of June 2022.

Management said the company was in a strong position to deliver a good result for the year, "comfortably in line with market expectations".

Chief executive Anne Ackord said: "Our businesses target growth within the UK entertainment sector; all are popular, cash generative, asset-backed businesses with further organic growth opportunities – particularly so in the golf division and the recently acquired Lightwater Valley.

"We expect that 2022 will be a good year. Alongside the announcement of our H1 results in March, we intend to give longer term-guidance showing what we believe our businesses can deliver as we emerge from the pandemic."

Photo: Vittorio Caramazza/Shutterstock

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