Oakman shows it doesn’t need delivery or discounting to grow

Oakman Inns has posted half-year like-for-like sales growth of nearly 9% and said it is delighted to have achieved the increase without having to change its pricing strategy.

Revenues of £18.6m for the six months to 30 September are ahead of internal forecasts for the year to date, according to CEO Peter Borg-Neal.

Over the period, Oakman’s three newest sites – in Olney, Amersham and Ascot – all exceeded expectations.

“We have had an excellent first half to the year with significant progress on many fronts,” he said. “We were delighted with our 8.5% LFL growth, but it is perhaps even more pleasing that it has been achieved without resorting to delivery or discounting – neither of which I am attracted to.”

Its newest sites all averaged around £40,000 during the first half, with the The Royal Foresters in Ascot proving to be the real star of the show after smashing its targets by averaging £83,000 net per week over its first 10 weeks.

“During the first half of the 2018/19 financial year, the 18 fully developed pubs in Oakman Inns that were open on day one of the financial year averaged £34,085. This strong position reflects the increased like-for-like sales growth as well as the fact that the newer larger pubs are performing strongly. With the opening of The Royal Foresters, Ascot this average sales number will increase further,” said Mr Borg-Neal.

The company is now on site at new locations in Prestwood and Twickenham, while venues in Farnham, Wokingham, Buckingham, Epsom and Hatfield are in the pipeline.

Mr Borg-Neal added: “Later this year, we will begin to focus on the brand-development and implementation of The Beech House concept – a high street offering capable of being developed in retail units, providing Oakman with a further level of flexibility regarding the type of sites that Oakman could acquire. Furthermore, because these sites do not suffer from the same planning restrictions as listed buildings, they could be developed more quickly, and at a lower cost than traditional Oakman sites.”

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