The City Pub Group snapping up bargains as lockdown ends

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  • The City Pub Group now trading profitably as restrictions ease
  • England’s publicans wait for stimulus package after Super Saturday reopening
  • City Pub Group PLC has plenty of potential, according to broker
  • City Pub Group raring to go as re-opening date gets nearer, says chairman Clive Watson
At the bar in the pub

Quick facts: The City Pub Group PLC

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The City Pub Group owns and operates an estate of premium pubs across the southern half of England and Wales.

The group’s pub estate comprises 45 free houses located largely in London, Cathedral cities and market towns, each of which is focused on appealing specifically to its local market.

Its portfolio consists of predominantly freehold, managed pubs, offering a wide range of high-quality drinks and food tailored to each of its pubs’ customers.

28 Jun 2021

() said it is currently trading profitably and at 90% of 2019 levels.

The publican has reopened 42 out of 48 sites, located across Southern England and Wales, while four are under development and earmarked to open in spring 2022.

The firm said the cost base has been significantly reduced and the performance has been “very pleasing”, however the continuing social distancing rules and absence of large bookings have limited trade.

This became apparent at the start of the European Football Championships, it added, where many customers did not want to watch live sport at pubs because of the social distancing restrictions.

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11 May 2021

The City Pub Group PLC () said trading has been encouraging since pubs were allowed to reopen for outdoor trading.

The pubs group has 24 of its 45 pubs open at present and despite not being able to serve thirsty customers indoors, trading is at 77% of 2019 (pre-pandemic) levels, the company said in its full-year results statement.

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29 Apr 2021

() has acquired a 49% stake in Barts Pub Ltd, owner of the iconic Kensington Park Hotel in London’s Ladbroke Grove.

City Pub paid GBP750,000 for the stake and following the acquisition will operate the pub under a management contract. It has an option to buy the freehold for GBP5.5mln up until March 2024.

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06 Jul 2020

Newly-reopened pubs and bars in England are waiting to see whether the stimulus package to be announced by the Treasury this week will give some respite to subdued trading.

The anticipated ‘Super Saturday’ was relatively tame in most parts of the UK, with the surge in criminality and A&E admissions not coming in as high as expected.

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20 Jul 2021

City Pub Group PLC () has the potential to increase its operating margins by six percentage points, according to broker Peel Hunt, which initiated coverage of the stock with a ‘buy’ recommendation and 160p price target.

In a 29-page note entitled ‘buy, build and burgeon’, clients were told the chain has one of the sector’s strongest balance sheets, “with minimal debt”.

It also pointed out that CPC is usually able to add around a third to the value of the pubs it acquires and redevelops.

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28 May 2020

Clive Watson, executive chairman at The City Pub Group () says the group is raring to go as the time pubs are allowed to re-open in the UK again gets nearer.

Around 40 of its 47 pubs have what Watson describes as very good beer gardens and it is these type of outlets that are expected to be allowed to open first when restrictions are lifted.

Indications from the government are that this will be in July but it might be earlier and Watson says City Pub will start to bring staff out of furlough in two weeks to prepare and make sure it is ‘match-fit’.

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