Oakman rues market ‘volatility’ but forges on with growth plans

Peter Borg-Neal, CEO

Oakman Inns & Restaurants said it has encountered a “degree of volatility” in recent months, but still managed to report a 4% increase in sales for the six months to the start of October.  

The company will now look to bring the number of sites it operates up to 22 by June as it remains committed to its expansion targets in spite of the economic conditions.

Peter Borg-Neal, CEO of the group, said the rise in sales was a “pleasing” result in the current environment and added that it had benefitted from strengthening its operations team over the past 12 months.

“As a result, we are comfortably ahead of our profit budget for the half year,” he said. “While we are happy with our sales performance we have seen a degree of volatility in recent months. Much of this can be explained by the variable weather and assorted sporting events. However, there is a general sense of commercial uncertainty and unease. The current trading environment is not for the faint-hearted, but we remain committed to our business plan.”

Oakman Inns also reported that the recently-acquired Banyers House in Royston will open to the public on December 2 and is already seeing strong forward bookings.

The company has also exchanged contracts on a substantial freehold property acquisition in central Olney and hopes to achieve completion within the next 10 days, while it now has possession of a second site for its Hunky Dory Pubs partnership with Enterprise Inns, The Four Alls in Welford upon Avon.

The site will undergo a complete refurbishment ahead of its opening in spring next year. The first Hunky Dory site, The Beech House in Solihull, opened in August and is “trading well ahead of expectations”, according to the group.

Further additions to both the Oakman pipeline, which already includes a major site in Amersham, and the one for Hunky Dory, are expected in the coming weeks.

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