The City Pub Group snapping up bargains as lockdown ends

  • The City Pub Group says sales above 90% of 2019 levels; buys Norfolk hotel
  • England’s publicans wait for stimulus package after Super Saturday reopening
  • City Pub Group numbers upgraded after solid first half
  • 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.

23 Sep 2021

(, ) said sales since May are above 90% of 2019 levels as it continues with its expansion plans with the acquisition of a hotel in Norfolk.

Trading in city centre sites has benefited from the return to work and to university during September, the group added.

The AIM-listed publican has been offering accommodation as well as food and drinks, banking on the ‘staycation’ trend during the summer.

In fact, it bought The Cliftonville Hotel in Cromer, Norfolk, for GBP1.7mln with GBP100,000 to be paid in shares and the rest in cash.

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16 Sep 2021

City Pub Group PLC’s financial strength should enable it to generate underlying profits of GBP20mln by 2024, according to broker Peel Hunt.

That compares with GBP9mln in 2019 before the pandemic struck and ‘buy’ with a target price of 160p is its investment view.

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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”.

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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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23 Sep 2021

City Pub Group PLC received a profit forecast upgrade for the next three years today from Peel Hunt after a reassuring trading update.

Improvements such as streamlining the supply chain, fewer menu items and expansion will drive better profits, said the broker even though it still expects like-for-like sales (LFL) fall by at least 10% in the second half of this year.

The company also announced it was acquiring a hotel in Cromer, adding to the recent acquisition of the site of a former Cafe Rouge in Bury St Edmunds and with a relatively unleveraged balance sheet can generate strong growth through more incremental expansion said Peel Hunt.

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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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