Goals is on the ball as profits rise

FIVE-a-side football firm Goals Soccer Centres yesterday showed it was giving the downturn a kicking, reporting a five per cent rise in pre-tax profits.<br /><br />The group posted pre-tax profits of &pound;3.9m for the six months ended 30 June, with total sales lifting 12 per cent to &pound;12.9m.<br /><br />Managing director Keith Rogers, who founded the first five-a-side firm in 1987, said that its core business remained strong, due to the enduring appeal of football.<br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s to do with the strength of the business. It&rsquo;s relatively low cost for people to play, less than a pint and a half, and sociable &ndash; people will cut out other costs, before they start cutting their weekly kick-a-bout.&rdquo;<br /><br />The group said that despite robust trading it was maintaining a &ldquo;cautiously optimistic outlook&rdquo;. <br /><br />Goals plans to open four more sites this financial year, six next year, but believes there is &ldquo;no upper limit to how much the business can expand&rdquo;. The firm said it would open its first US centre in Los Angeles next year.<br />