High-street shops may have been struggling this Christmas, but Revolution bar operator Inventive Leisure painted a different picture today, reporting sales rising over the festive period.
Like-for-like sales were up by 2.9% over Christmas and New Year, Inventive said in a trading statement. This was an improvement on the 2.3% rise reported for the eight weeks to the start of December.
The figure is also a substantial improvement on Christmas 2003, when the company reported a 7% fall in like-for-like sales.
The growth this time around was largely fuelled by improved sales, the contribution of two bars not opened at the same point in 2003 and the performance of its Vodka Kitchen food initiative.
Over the five weeks to 1 January, food sales rose by 35.3% and accounted for 5.3% of overall sales, said Inventive Leisure.
Chief executive Roy Ellis said that with like-for-like sales now positive since July last year, the time was right to restart its expansion programme.
"Sales over the Christmas and New Year period were in line with our budgetary expectations. With our like-for-like estate now trading at +2.9%, this represents a modest further trading improvement," he added.
Inventive Leisure was currently seeking six new sites, each capable of taking more than £25,000 a week, said Ellis.
Its next trading update will be its half-year results, due to be published on 22 March.
by Nic Paton
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