The company that owns the Palace Pier, in Brighton, has published a trading update showing strong signs of recovering from covid-related restrictions.
The Brighton Pier Group said this morning (Monday 17 January): “Brighton Pier Group PLC, a diversified UK entertainment business, is pleased to announce a positive trading update for the 26-week period ended (Sunday) 26 December 2021.
“The period started strongly and the businesses have continued to deliver an extremely robust performance.
“While there was some impact in December due to the restrictions, over new year the bars recovered their momentum, trading 9 per cent up on 2019.
“The group expects total sales of £22.7 million, up 177 per cent on the same period in 2020 and up 31 per cent against the same (pre-covid) period in 2019.
“On a divisional basis
- Brighton Palace Pier like for like sales are up 15 per cent on 2019
- The golf division’s like for like sales are up 33 per cent on 2019
- Bars like for like sales (for 23 weeks, division reopened from end of July) are up 27 per cent on 2019
- Lightwater Valley theme park acquired in June 2021 continues to trade ahead of expectations
“Strong cash flow generation is expected to enable the group to pay down £7.7 million of debt, reducing borrowings 38 per cent by the end of June 2022.
“This represents an excellent performance during challenging times, underlining the attractions of a diversified asset base of experiential venues and bars well-positioned to benefit from growth in the UK entertainment sector.
“Management believe the group is in a strong position to deliver a good result for the year, comfortably in line with market expectations.
Chief executive Anne Ackord said: “Our businesses target growth within the UK entertainment sector.
“All are popular, cash generative, asset-backed businesses with further organic growth opportunities – particularly so in the golf division and the recently acquired Lightwater Valley.
“We expect that 2022 will be a good year. Alongside the announcement of our first-half results in March, we intend to give longer-term guidance showing what we believe our businesses can deliver as we emerge from the pandemic.”
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