The Brighton Pier Group, which owns and trades Brighton Palace Pier as well as eight indoor mini golf sites and 12 bars nationwide, has reported a 29.4% decrease in revenue this year to £22.6m.
In the group's trading results for the year ended 28 June 2020, it said the prolonged closures earlier this year resulted in impairments to goodwill, property, plant and equipment and right-of-use assets totalling £8.1m. Of this, £7.2m relates to its bars division, much of which remains unable to trade.
It also reported a pre-tax loss of £2.1m against a profit of £3.2m last year, even though group trading for the period from 4 July to the end of September was better than expected, with like-for-like sales for the group as a whole at 81% compared to the same 13 weeks last year.
Chief executive Anne Ackord said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has presented an unprecedented challenge to our business. The closures during Spring 2020 came during what would normally be a key trading period, spanning both the Easter break in April and two May Bank Holiday weekends. Whilst the lost trade is disappointing, I'm proud of the way in which our team has responded to ensure the group remains in a strong financial position in such uncertain times. Thanks to their efforts, the group is well placed to resume normal trading at the earliest opportunity.'"
However, chairman Luke Johnson said "considerable uncertainty" remains surrounding how and when the group will be able to reopen 10 of its bars that remain closed, and the second lockdown in England starting this week is predicted to "materially impact" results for the 2021 financial year.
He said: "It is profoundly disappointing to me that the government continues with its failing strategy of lockdowns. The collateral damage from these restrictions and the fear being promoted by the authorities are having a catastrophic impact on our way of life. The loss of jobs, toll on mental health, harm to education, the national finances and treatment of other illnesses will cause vastly more hardship than the virus itself.
"I believe that the government and their scientific advisors at SAGE need to change course and focus on protection of the vulnerable, while allowing the majority of the population – who are at low risk from the virus – to resume their normal lives and work, so the country can fund the NHS. Otherwise we are doomed to a never ending cycle of destructive and pointless lockdowns, mass unemployment, suicides, bankruptcies, evictions and economic, cultural and social ruin."