Revolution Bars Group, operator of 79 premium bars trading across the UK under the Revolution and Revolucion de Cuba brands, has seen a 6.4% like-for-like increase in the 26 weeks to 29 December 2018.
Total revenue for the period was £78.5m and its like-for-like sales in the 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 group’s sixth consecutive year of growth over the festive period and during this four-week 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.
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. Overall, the company said these venues traded “ahead of expectations”.
Like-for-like sales performance for the 26 weeks ended 29 December 2018 was -4% below last year with the first quarter at -5%. Sales trends in October and November broadly followed those seen in the first quarter and “increased significantly” in December.
Revolucion de Cuba has continued to grow like-for-like sales during the 26 week period and the group said it saw a strong performance over the Christmas period. Whilst the Revolution brand has also achieved growth over the four week trading period to new year’s eve, it consistently traded below last year over the 26-week period.
The board expects adjusted EBITDA for H1 FY19 to be approximately £2m lower than last year due to the like-for-like sales decline and increased operating costs.
Rob Pitcher, chief executive officer, 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.”