Brighton Pier Group’s share price nosedived over nine per cent today after it revealed that strike action on the UK’s rail network had hit the firm’s revenues.
In the six months to July, total revenues for the group, which manages the iconic pier, were £16.2m, down from £17.3m for the same period last year.
The group blamed a “significant reduction” in footfall to the pier, which saw visitor numbers decrease by 18 per cent compared to 2022, as an unusually wet summer impacted trading figures.
“Spend per head at the pier was ahead of last year and prior to the issues experienced across the summer months, sales were tracking ahead of 2022,” the firm said.
But as it battled rising costs and a slowdown in consumer spending, the group’s chief Anne Ackord said that rail strikes were also to blame for the drop in footfall and revenue.
Speaking to City A.M., she said: “Train strikes had a very significant impact on our business, if people cannot travel then this will of course continue to severely impact the hospitality sector.”
Ackord called for rail operators and unions to agree a deal soon to make sure disruption does “not continue into 2024”.
Today’s figures came in stark contrast to the firm’s pandemic figures, when a staycation boom sent city dwellers in droves to the popular tourist destination.
But since international tourism has reopened, the trend of holidaying closer to home has faded.
However, Ackord told City A.M: “Our venues, particularly the pier, benefit from both staycations and international travel, so the trends tend to even out for us.”