Hollywood Bowl scores a strike reporting 18.5 per cent rise in profits

Lucy White
Ten Pin Bowling-Alley
The group has pursued rapid expansion and ended March 2017 with a £13m profit (Source: Getty)

There were certainly no gutter balls in Hollywood Bowl's game in the first half of this year, as the London-listed business today reported an 18.5 per cent rise in profits.

The bowling group rolled out of the six months ending March 2017 with a £13m profit, compared to £10.9m in the same period a year previously.

Having listed just last September, as private equity firm Epiris relinquished its hold making a 3.9 times return on investment, Hollywood Bowl has decreased its net debt by 85.3 per cent on the same period last year to £13.5m.

“We're now less than one-times geared, which would be quite unusual in private equity,” said the group's chief executive Stephen Burns.

“Being part of the listed environment gives us a much more sustainable capital structure, and one of the reasons why our profit after tax is up 101 per cent on last year is that we're not accruing loan note interest and having significant levels of bank debt.”

Total game volumes for the business increased by 8.8 per cent, which is partly attributable to Hollywod Bowl's rapid roll-out.

It acquired rival Bowlplex, whose alleys it has begun to refurbish and rebrand, and will open another two new sites this year on top of the pair it has already launched in 2017. A further three centres are already in the pipeline for the next financial year.

The pins have wobbled for Hollywood Bowl on its journey as a listed company, although have shown no sign of falling.

A floatation was originally postponed last summer, after the results of the EU referendum shook confidence.

When Epiris sold its final stake in April this year, the share price plunged below the initial private offering value of 160 pence per share.

Yet this soon steadied, with the company now trading at 176 pence per share.

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