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Thu 27th May 2021 - Oakman reports like-for-like sales up 38.5% in first week, aims for 40 sites by 2022
Oakman reports like-for-like sales up 38.5% in first week, aims for 40 sites by 2022: The Oakman Group has reported a total loss of £13.9m for its year ending June 2020, with an Ebitda loss of £2.6m. The company stated: “As with the rest of the hospitality industry, performance in the year was severely affected by the impact of the covid-19 pandemic. Prior to the enforced closure of the business the company had been trading well with like-for-like sales growth of +4% and total sales growth of 13%. Whilst the costs of the closure impacted on these results, the government support did not produce a benefit until after the year end. This left the group with net liabilities of £10.8m, a figure that increases to positive assets of £13.6m after reclassification of shareholder loans as shareholder funds. There has been significant post-balance sheet activity and the company is stable, well-funded and ready for further growth. The Oakman Group is on course to make a substantial Ebitda profit in 2020/21. In corporate terms, 2020 was clearly a frustrating and disappointing result, but the covid-19 pandemic was an unprecedented crisis that has affected both the sector and country as a whole in myriad and tragic ways. However, thanks to the support of all our stakeholders, the group’s operating ability and its prospects remain rock solid. Indeed, the business has not only managed to survive the multiple closure periods but has grown its site pipeline, raised significant equity for growth and is expected, over the next 24 months, to be a net beneficiary of the pandemic. Since the June 2020 year end:£9m of equity has been raised post year end, split between £4.9m of new funds and £4.1m of shareholder loan conversions. Pledges have been received for at least a further £4.8m of loan conversions; the damage to the cashflow from the second and third lockdown has been entirely offset by significant government support in the form of a VAT cut on food and accommodation, business rates cuts and, to a lesser degree, grants. The group will have opened eight new sites by the end of June bringing the total number of sites to 35; these were: two Oakman Inns and six Seafood Pubs. Oakman has a substantial pipeline and expects to have 40 operational sites by the end of FY22. When we were allowed to trade, our results were on average over 40% ahead of the market, suggesting that we have understood changes in consumer behaviour of which, post-pandemic, we are well placed to take advantage. Sales in the first week after reopening indoors were very strong with like-for-like sales +38.5% and total sales +71.4% versus the same week two years ago with average sales per fully invested Oakman Inn hitting £45k net of VAT.” Executive chairman Peter Borg-Neal, said: “Our chief executive Dermot King, and his team have done an outstanding job navigating our business through this difficult period of time. We are trading very successfully, have retained the vast majority of our colleagues and have grown our estate. In addition, Steven Kenee’s excellent work in attracting equity investment from existing and new shareholders has provided not only financial stability, but also firepower to continue our growth. We are also grateful for the government’s financial support, but it has highlighted a number of taxation and employment issues where we will continue to press for changes. Most importantly, the steadfast backing of our shareholders and the wholehearted support of our suppliers, landlords and creditors have helped us along the way. We believe that hospitality has been closed and restricted to a far greater extent than was necessary but now is the time to look forward to the future and play our part in rebuilding the economy. We are very well placed to take advantage of the strong consumer demand we anticipate in the year ahead and are placing no limitations on the scale of our ambition.”

Details of 1,822 sector companies operating almost 60,000 sites listed on updated database of multi-site businesses, available exclusively to Premium subscribers tomorrow: The updated database of multi-site companies is released tomorrow (Friday, 28 May, at midday) and contains the details of 1,822 companies that collectively operate 59,197 sites, which works out to an average of 32.5 sites each. It will include 108 new companies since its previous update in April, which operate a combined total of 1,161 sites – an average number of 10.75 sites each. Subscribers will not only receive the database as a PDF and an Excel spreadsheet, they will also be sent a 14,000-word report on the businesses added during May. The go-to database provides company names, the people in charge, how many sites each firm operates, its trading name and its registered name at Companies House if different. In a new feature this year, there is a synopsis of what the business does and significant news associated with it. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £895 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The regular single subscription rate of £395 plus VAT for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers remains the same. Premium subscribers are also to receive access to a second exclusive monthly database, The Propel Blue Book. This database will provide an insight into UK operator turnover and profitability over five years, profit conversion and directors’ earnings. It will be available on Friday, 4 June, at midday. Subscribers also receive access to Propel’s library of lockdown videos and Friday Wrap interviews and now also have access to a curated video library of the sector’s finest leaders and entrepreneurs, offering their insights on running outstanding businesses in the sector. Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out; regular video content and regular exclusive columns from Propel insights editor Mark Wingett. Email to sign up.

Colin Rutherford becomes chairman of Hawthorn: Pub operator Hawthorn, has announced Colin Rutherford as the company’s new chairman. The company stated: “Colin, 62, is an experienced chairman and non-executive director and has many years of relevant experience in the pub and hospitality sector, including at Mitchells & Butlers where he has been a non-executive director for eight years. Colin has taken up his position effective immediately, and joins chief executive Mark Davies, Matt Ward (chief financial officer), Edith Monfries (chief operating officer) and Ken Buckley (non-executive director) on the Hawthorn board creating a highly experienced and credible team.” Mark Davies, chief executive of Hawthorn, said: “Colin will be an outstanding chairman and I know we will make a formidable team working closely together in a sector we both have a true passion for. Colin brings a lot of industry knowledge and corporate finance experience to our board and is very alive and ambitious to the opportunities ahead and I’m delighted with this important appointment.” Colin Rutherford, chairman of Hawthorn, said: “Having worked in this sector for a long time I’m fortunate to have seen first-hand what the business is all about, and what the Hawthorn board is capable of achieving. In Mark and the rest of the Management team, Hawthorn have a strong, dynamic leadership, with a clear ambition for growth, and I’m looking forward to working with them all at such an exciting time for the business.” Hawthorn owns more than 700 pubs across England, Scotland and Wales. In addition to its tenanted and leased pubs, which account for 80% of the Hawthorn business, the group also has a managed division, which accounts for 20% of the estate.

Angelo Sato opens Humble Chicken concept in Soho: Angelo Sato, former head chef of Tom Sellers’ Michelin-starred Restaurant Story in Bermondsey, south east London, has opened his Soho yakitori bar Humble Chicken. Humble Chicken uses every part of the chicken to avoid waste on the site that was home to Barrifino and, more recently, Scott Hallsworth’s pan-Asian restaurant Freak Scene, in Frith Street. The restaurant uses a traditional Japanese grill with Bincho-tan charcoal to give the yakitori a smoky taste. Dishes on the launch menu include crab, mushroom and shiso chawanmushi, and crispy chicken leg claypot rice with dashi chicken, cured veg and ginger. Desserts include purin, the Japanese version of creme caramel, and drinks feature a list of sake cocktails and whisky highballs alongside Japanese wines. Sato said: “We’re not creating a super traditional Japanese yakitori-ya. We’re taking little things we loved growing up and working in Japan’s vibrant restaurant culture. We’re trying to take all that magic and let it loose in Soho.”

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