Revolution Bars Group PLC (LON:RBG) said its 25 bars that have been allowed to operate outside, as the UK began to relax Coronavirus lockdown rules, have traded “extremely strongly” and that it now expects its performance for the year ending 30 June 2021 to be ahead of previous management expectations.
“Following the customer reaction we have seen over the last four weeks, the board is confident that significant further pent up demand exists and therefore further strong trading is anticipated in the months to come as restrictions fall away and we fully open up the estate,” it said in a trading update.
“Taking the above into account, together with continued tight cost control and better than anticipated support from third parties, we now expect that our full-year performance for the year ending 30 June 2021 will be ahead of previous management expectations.”
The company, which operates 66 premium bars under the Revolution and Revolucion de Cuba brands, said it welcomed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s comments yesterday, confirming that indoor trading of its bars will be able to go ahead as planned on May 17 and that the return to restriction free trading on June 21 is also on track.
“The ability to trade inside from 17 May 2021 provides another landmark in the roadmap and whilst we will still be restricted to using less than 50% of our actual capacity, the demand that we have experienced in recent weeks provides us with the confidence to open all the remaining bars,” said chief executive Rob Pitcher.
Revolution Bars announced on April 13, alongside its interim results, that 20 of its bars had resumed outdoor trading as permitted on the previous day. A further five bars opened outdoor trading since then.
“We are pleased to report that since opening those bars have traded extremely strongly, fulfilling the desire for our customers to return despite the often unseasonably cold weather,” the group said.
“The restrictions in place are such that in the bars where we have been able to trade outdoors the covers available represent approximately only 15% of total capacity of those venues, which are also trading for shorter hours than normal.
“Despite these constraints, we are delighted to report that these venues have delivered 48% of the sales in the four weeks to 9 May 2021 when compared to the same period in 2019, when there were no COVID-19 restrictions.“
The company said net bank debt as of May 10 stood at £28.5mln and that it had total available facilities of £40.2mln.