Coronavirus lockdown wipes out profits at Brighton Palace Pier

Posted On 02 Nov 2020 at 10:50 am

The first coronavirus lockdown wiped out profits at the Brighton Palace Pier and plunged the business into the red.

Turnover fell from £32 million to £22.6 million in the year to Sunday 28 June while a £2.7 million profit turned into a £10.2 million loss.

As well as the pier, the company owns eight indoor mini golf sites and 12 premium bars around the country.

The Brighton Pier Group said: “The prolonged closures have resulted in impairments to goodwill, property, plant and equipment and right-of-use assets totalling £8.1 million.

“Of this, £7.2 million relates to the bars division, much of which remains unable to trade.”

Chief executive Anne Ackord said: “The covid-19 pandemic has presented an unprecedented challenge to our business.

“The closures during spring 2020 came during what would normally be a key trading period, spanning both the Easter break in April and two May bank holiday weekends.

“While the lost trade is disappointing, I’m proud of the way in which our team has responded to ensure the group remains in a strong financial position in such uncertain times.

“Thanks to their efforts, the group is well placed to resume normal trading at the earliest opportunity.”

Brighton Pier Group chairman Luke Johnson said: “Group trading for the period from (Saturday) 4 July to the end of September has been better than the board expected.

“Like-for-like sales (excluding closed sites) for the group as a whole were at 81 per cent compared to the same 13 weeks last year.

“The pier has traded at 83 per cent, the golf division at 87 per cent and the bars at 65 per cent compared to the same 13 weeks last year. This trading was ahead of the group’s expectations at the time of the reopening.

Luke Johnson

“It is profoundly disappointing to me that the government continues with its failing strategy of lockdowns.

“The collateral damage from these restrictions and the fear being promoted by the authorities are having a catastrophic impact on our way of life.

“The loss of jobs, toll on mental health, harm to education, the national finances and treatment of other illnesses will cause vastly more hardship than the virus itself.

“I believe that the government and their scientific advisors at SAGE need to change course and focus on protection of the vulnerable, while allowing the majority of the population – who are at low risk from the virus – to resume their normal lives and work, so the country can fund the NHS.

“Otherwise we are doomed to a never ending cycle of destructive and pointless lockdowns, mass unemployment, suicides, bankruptcies, evictions and economic, cultural and social ruin.”

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