Revolution Bars loses £22m in tough year
Revolution Bars Group made a pre-tax loss of £22m in the year to 1 July 2023 which the company directly blames on the cost-of-living crisis and changing habits which were affected by trading restrictions under the pandemic.
The company also said the working from home trend, especially on Fridays, historically their second largest night, has affected sales.
Overall revenue was higher, mainly due to the acquisition last year of the Peach Pub gastro pub chain, up £11.8 million to £152.6 million.
Revolution operates 67 premium bars and 22 gastro pubs, trading predominantly under the Revolution, Revolución de Cuba and Peach Pubs brands.
Rob Pitcher, chief executive said: ”It has been a challenging start to the new financial year with the continued pressure on our guests, and whilst the wetter and colder summer, in comparison to recent years, has somewhat aided our bars business it has not helped the Peach Pubs business whose beautiful beer gardens weren’t fully utilised. The Peach business has performed extremely well outside the periods of poorer weather.
“The return of students has been strong for the Revolution brand over recent weeks with a high level of engagement in our promoted nights as well as sign-ups to the Revolution App. Revolución de Cuba continues to outperform the bars market, per the Coffer CGA Tracker, and has done since the start of 2023.
“Peach Pubs continue to perform in line with expectations and well ahead of pre-COVID-19 levels, with excellent expansion opportunities available when funds allow.
“Corporate Christmas bookings are tracking well ahead of the same period last year, and this gives us confidence of a strong festive trading period whilst we remain mindful of the global political volatility and, nearer to home, potential industrial action by the railway unions to disrupt peoples’ Christmas.”
Chairman Keith Edelman said he would keep lobbying to resolve the rail dispute which affects the business: “We join UK Hospitality in calling for the crucial festive season to be protected and for an urgent resolution to the ongoing rail dispute. Not only do the strikes have a significant impact on sales and profitability, but most importantly they affect our colleagues’ earning potential through lost shifts and tips which the teams rely on to see them through the quieter trading months of January and February.”