City Pub Group has said “one-off factors” towards the end of 2019 have seen earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) slip below market expectations.
The Rugby World Cup failed to provide the sales boost expected and the December election as well as disruption on South West trains combined to create a challenging end of year environment.
Despite this, results for the year to 29 December 2019 still showed an increase in turnover of 31% to £59.8m, with like-for-like sales up by 1.7% The festive period (the six weeks to 5 January 2020) was marginally ahead of that in 2018/19.
However one-off factors saw the 47-site strong group announced that EBITDA before exceptional items was expected to be slightly below market expectations at between £9.1m and £9.2m, a 15% increase on the previous year.
Within today’s statement the group said its model was robust and easily able to “respond to the more trading conditions now prevailing”. Bosses are also focusing on operating margins and looking to dispose two underperforming sites.
Q4 also saw the refurbishments of two former Jam Tree sites completed, which both opened in November.