Pubs and Bars

City Pub Group returns to profit

City Pub Group has reported profits of £2m in its audited results for the 52 weeks ended 30 December 2018, a turnaround from its loss of £200,000 in the previous year.

The pub operator’s revenue saw a 22% increase to £47.5m, up from 2017’s revenue of £37.4m and during the year, its like-for-like sales grew 1.6%.

The company’s adjusted profit before tax was up 60% to £5.1m compared with £3.2m the year before.

City Pub Group opened 11 pubs in 2018 and said it was on track for an estate of 65-70 pubs by mid-2021. It also developed and expanded “clusters of sites” in London, Cardiff, Brighton and Cambridge.

The group operates a predominantly freehold estate of 44 wet-led pubs in southern England and Wales. Four further sites are currently in development and two exchanged sites are due to complete imminently, which will bring the size of the total estate to 50.

Clive Watson, executive chairman of The City Pub Group, said: “Our strategic expansion has continued at pace with the opening of 11 new pubs in 2018 bringing the total to 44. Our performance has been driven by both organic growth and the new pubs coming on stream. Considering the continued strong performance we are delighted to increase our dividend, by 22% for shareholders.

“We continue to seek new sites to add to our portfolio and we have already earmarked six new pub openings for this year and are on course to meet our target of doubling the size of the estate to around 65-70 pubs by mid-2021. We believe the combination of further acquisitions, fine tuning the management of our existing estate and the benefits of our new divisional structure will enhance our performance further.”

He added: We are positioned to meet the number of well-trailed headwinds, not least the challenges brought through Brexit, and to take advantage of the softening market for acquisitions with our robust balance sheet and strong cash generation.”

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