UK: Revolution Bars suffer as drinkers go dry for January

UK: Revolution Bars suffer as drinkers go dry for January

Brits going sober for dry January hammered sales at Revolution Bars, the cocktails specialist said on Friday as it warned on profits.

Boss Rob Pitcher said it was the driest January the operator of 79 bars had ever seen. Comparable sales in the eight weeks to February 23 slumped 7.3%.

The update came as Revolution Bars posted results for the first half to December 29. It had strong Christmas trading but suffered earlier in the period as customers shunned bars to enjoy the sunshine and football World Cup.

Comparable sales decreased 4%. Full-year profits will be between £11 million and £12 million. The previous guidance was for £12 million.

The shares plunged 12.71p, or 16%, to 66.74p.

Pitcher joined last year following a 2017 takeover tussle between pubs group Stonegate and nightclub operator Deltic. Discussions collapsed after not enough of Revolution’s investors backed Stonegate’s 203p-per-share bid. Deltic did not table a formal offer.

Pitcher said today that the estate has suffered from lack of investment, and expansion plans will now be halted. Previously it had expected to open around two sites a year, but it will instead focus on revamping existing sites.

Trading in the second half is forecast to improve from a year earlier when sales suffered because of the Beast from the East extreme weather.

Source: Evening Standard (app)

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