The City Pub Group this morning warned that 2019 profit will fall short of expectations after “one-off factors”, including political uncertainty and strikes on London commuter train services, impacted performance over the Christmas trading period.
The firm’s share price fell more than eight per cent this morning after it announced that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) for the year to 29 December will be slightly below expectations at between £9.1m and £9.2m.
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In a trading update this morning the pub operator said political uncertainty held back sales until the result of the General Election was announced.
The company also said the Rugby World Cup did not boost sales as much as expected, and strikes on South Western Railway services in December hurt the performance of its London pubs.
A delay in opening two Jam Tree sites after refurbishment meant they did not benefit from Christmas bookings, reducing their profitability.
Bad weather in November and December was also “unhelpful”, the pub chain said.
Turnover in the period was £59.8m, an increase of 31 per cent on the previous year, and like-for-like sales were up 1.7 per cent.
City Pub Group said this year the company will benefit from the new pubs that were opened in 2019, including Aragon House in Parsons Green – the most successful pub the firm has ever opened.
The company is also set to open new pubs in Exeter, Cambridge and Bath this year. Meanwhile, two underperforming sites have been put up for sale.