Nightcap estimates rail strikes hit earnings by £1.2m

13 March 2023 by
Nightcap estimates rail strikes hit earnings by £1.2m

Bar business Nightcap has estimated that the 13 days of rail strikes last year cost the company approximately £1.2m in earnings.

In its interim results for the six months to 1 January 2023, Nightcap reported revenue growth of 48.7% to £23.5m. Like-for-like revenue increased by 4.7% for the second quarter of the year compared to the prior year, and by 10.1% for the first half of 2023 against the equivalent period in the group's 2019 financial year.

However, like-for-like revenue was down 5.8% in the first half compared to 2022, largely due to the rail strikes. The company also saw widening pre-tax losses to £900,000 for the six-month period, compared to £500,000 the prior year.

In the trading update, the group said the Christmas trading period had "exceeded expectations" with a record number of corporate Christmas parties and New Year's Eve parties almost entirely sold out across all bars. It added that the millennial and Gen Z crowd remained "resilient consumers".

Thirty bars traded throughout the half-year period, which saw the addition of six sites – two Cocktail Clubs, two Tonight Josephines and two Barrios during September and October 2022. Management said there continued to be "extremely attractive opportunities" within the property market with plans to continue the roll-out of all key brands.

The business added that trading had remained "resilient" since the start of 2023 in line with market expectations and with an "encouraging" outlook.

Sarah Willingham, chief executive of Nightcap, said: "Nightcap has had a fantastic half-year. Our incredible team opened six bars in six weeks across the country, while also delivering a Christmas that exceeded expectations and records in terms of corporate parties, pre-sold events and a nearly sold out New Year's Eve across all 36 sites. This was followed by a significant business integration and streamlining process, resulting in expected group savings of £1.4m annually, while preserving the much-loved individual identities of our brands. The new sites have opened well with trading continuing to build week-on-week all the way through to the end of February 2023.

"While rapidly building the leading premium bar group in the UK in a very attractive market for property deals, we continue our focus on strong cost controls, proven by our impressive cash generation of £4.1m from operations during the period thanks to the unwavering dedication of our talented and highly motivated team."

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