Revolution Bars eyes eight new openings as it cuts losses

Bar group Revolution has cut its losses after reopening its sites and laid out plans to open eight new bars.

owever, the company saw shares dip after it posted a sharp decline in sales following the impact of pandemic restrictions.

It reported that sales slid by almost two-thirds to £39.4 million in the year to July 3, compared with £110.1 million last year as it was impacted by restrictions and enforced closures for large parts of the year.

Meanwhile, it also revealed that it posted a £21.2 million operating loss for the year, dropping from a £32.7 million loss in the previous year.

Revolution said it has already, in the past 14 weeks of the current financial year, surpassed the sales it reported in the previous year.

The company said it has been buoyed by confidence from younger customers in coming back to venues.

Rob Pitcher, chief executive officer of the business, said it has seen under-25 customers “swap gin and tonics for cocktails”.

He added: “As we had hoped and expected, our young guest base was ready to return to our bars and we continue to be pleased with our level of trade, reflecting the fun and memorable experiences our teams create for our guests.”

The chief said the company, which shut six sites as part of restructuring process last year, now has plans to restart opening new sites.

It said it will open eight new bars over the next two financial years, with the group currently in the legal process over a potential site in Exeter.

Mr Pitcher added: “Whilst the disruption caused by Covid has set back our timescales for expansion, we believe that post Covid, our market-place and the competitive landscape will be fundamentally different and there will be good opportunities for our brands to expand their estates at a much lower level of investment.

“Given the backdrop of one of the most challenging years for our company, I am thankful to our colleagues for their resilience, professionalism and dedication.

“Our teams continue to create the party, and it is this effort that has resulted in our guests returning in such numbers which has in turn allowed us to enjoy such a strong start to our year.”

Shares in the company were down 6.4% at 25p after early trading.

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