Best of the Best says lockdown reopening has made trading worse


Best of the Best PLC (LON:BOTB) investors are fearing the worst after the company said the opening up of pandemic restrictions in recent weeks has led to a reduction in customer activity.

The company, which used to runs online competitions to win cars and other luxury prizes in airports and online, in September 2019 made the decision to focus purely on its digital business.

Its full-year results on Wednesday showed revenues rising from GBP17.79mln to GBP45.68mln, with profits up from GBP4.19mln to GBP14.06mln.

But chief executive William Hindmarch said: “in contrast to the summer 2020 period, we have experienced somewhat of a reduction in customer engagement since the latest easing of lockdown restrictions on April 12, 2021, specifically relating to the understandably long-awaited re-opening of hospitality and non-essential retail.

“We are closely monitoring this, but with our flexible model, growth strategy and plans for the year ahead, we expect customer engagement to return to normal levels before too long.”

The company also said that after a formal sales process was launched during the year, there were extensive talks with a number of interested parties. But these came to nothing as the company decided to stick with its existing growth strategy.

With all its eggs now in one digital basket, the signs of a slowdown appeared to unsettle investors, with shares in Best of the Best tumbling 28% to 1900p.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell said: “With COVID-19 increasingly being put in the rear-view mirror and life getting back to normal, we’re getting more lockdown winners seeing their purple patch fade away. The latest casualty is car competition provider Best of the Best whose shares crashed… after it revealed that customers have become less engaged since lockdown restrictions started to ease. It thrived when we were all stuck at home, but everyone is bored of that now and desperate to enjoy the great outdoors.”


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