Brighton Pier Group warns of possible price rises despite boost in profits
Brighton Pier Group has warned that it may have to increase prices in response to rising inflation.
The bar and amusement park operator said cost pressures were an "unwelcome change" to the business environment, but it could tackle them through "targeted price increases [and] operational improvements".
The company said pre-tax profits rose to £6.6m in its results for the half year to 26 December 2021, boosted by an increase in family staycations in the UK.
It said the temporary 12.5% VAT rate also helped the bump in profits, which rose almost £4m from the £2.7m reported in 2020.
Sales at Brighton Palace Pier and its bars and golf division were all higher than pre-pandemic levels in 2019, rising 15%, 27% and 33% respectively.
Total revenue was £22.8m, a surge of 178% on 2020 and 33% higher during the pre-Covid period in 2019.
Anne Ackord, chief executive officer at Brighton Pier Group, said she expected sales to continue to rise, adding: "The underlying trend for the first half is well above 2019 levels - a more meaningful comparison due to the pandemic. The period has also been boosted further by one off VAT and rates benefits. These factors combined have resulted in the group trading ahead of market expectations."
Brighton Pier Group acquired the Lightwater Valley amusement park in North Yorkshire in June and plans to update its food and beverage offer with fish and chips and a health food option, as well as introducing new rides and educational packages.
Hospitality businesses across the industry have warned customers will face price rises to combat spiralling inflation. Last week, operators said the government failure to stop VAT returning to its pre-pandemic level of 20% in April could lead to price increases of 10% ‘as a bare minimum'.