Revolution adopts ‘more cautious' outlook on trading

14 January 2019 by
Revolution adopts ‘more cautious' outlook on trading

Revolution Bars Group has said the company is adopting a "more cautious" outlook on trading in the coming months due to economic and political uncertainty.

The company, which operates 79 bars across the UK under the Revolution and Revolucion de Cuba brands, expects adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the first half of its 2019 financial year to be approximately £2m lower than last year due to a decline in like-for-like sales and increased operating costs.

While the business experienced positive Christmas period trading, it said it expects adjusted EBITDA for the full year to be approximately £12m, compared to last year's £15m.

Chief executive Rob Pitcher said: "The uplift in like-for-like sales performance over the festive period gives us momentum going into the second half and I'm pleased with the progress being made in refreshing the Revolution brand proposition. However, given the uncertain economic and political outlook we are adopting a more cautious outlook on trading in the coming months."

Revolucion de Cuba continued to grow like-for-like sales during the 26-week period ended 29 December 2018 with a particularly strong performance over the Christmas period.

While the Revolution brand achieved growth over the four-week trading period to New Year's Eve, it has consistently traded below last year over the 26-week period.

Like-for-like sales performance for the 26 weeks was 4% below last year with the first quarter at -5% and a second quarter at -3.1%. Sales trends in October and November broadly followed those experienced in the first quarter but stepped up "significantly" in December.

Total revenue for the 26 weeks ended 29 December 2018 was £78.5m (£73.8m during the first half of 2018), an increase of 6.4%. Five new venues opened during this period: Revolution Mitchell Street in Glasgow and Revolucion de Cuba Southampton in August, Revolucion de Cuba Bristol in October, and Revolucion de Cuba Huddersfield and Revolution Durham in November, which have traded ahead of expectations.

Like-for-like sales in the important four-week trading period leading up to and including New Year's Eve were 2.6% higher than last year and 8.7% higher over two years. This is the sixth consecutive year of growth over the festive period.

During this period, pre-booked party revenue was up 11.7% on a like-for-like basis and average weekly sales per venue were above £60,000 with 22 venues setting new total sales records. As expected, and as reported by many high street retailers, Christmas trading came late with like-for-like sales in the last two weeks of the financial period up 8.1%.

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