After strong Christmas trading, Revolution Bars expects to hit its financial targets

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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Revolution is taking its estate up to at least 67 bars
Revolution is taking its estate up to at least 67 bars (Source: Getty)

Revolution Bars said cheers to Christmas sales as it anticipates half-year results to 31 December will fall in line with the board's expectations.

The figures

In a trading update today ahead of its half-year results, the operator of 66 premium bars across the UK said like-for-like sales were up two per cent, while overall sales – which include the contribution from bars opened within the last year – hit £66.6m, up 12.7 per cent from the same period last year.

Over the five-week festive trading period, group sales were up 16.2 per cent compared with the previous year.

Revolution said profit, revenue and new site openings for the first half of the year fell in line with the board's expectations. The group opened four new bars under its Revolucion de Cuba brand this year with a fifth site under development and slated to be opened in the second half of the year.

The bar group's share price initially fell more than four per cent in early hours of trading.

Why it's interesting

Since Revolution floated in 2015, the business has had the resources to grow from 58 bars to nearly 67. Chief executive Mark McQuater said the group has been working to build a strong track record by delivering on its targets.

Revolution Bars has a typical cocktail bar format as well as a range of Cuban-style cocktail bars. The bars sit between the casual dining sector and pure cocktail bar, which means customers spend more time in the bar and tend to pre-book.

The upmarket cocktail seller expanded into cocktails and food before it floated, and at the time of its initial public offering, some 25 per cent of sales before 10pm were food. A strong food focus has helped other pubs and bars increase profits in recent years.

Each of the new sites opened so far this half-year were the group's Latin American-themed bars, which are marketed toward a slightly older crowd – 30s versus 20s. These bars also have a more unique selling point and a "stylish formula".

What Revolution Bars said

McQuater said:

Continued investment in the business with new site openings in Harrogate, Aberdeen, Reading and Glasgow have further expanded our geographic footprint. We had a strong festive trading period across our existing estate and all of our new sites were open for Christmas and New Year where initial trading was encouraging.

We continue to develop our pipeline and are currently on site at our fifth development in financial year 2017 which will take the estate to 67 sites. We remain positive for the future prospects of the group.

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