Oakman’s kitchens on song as food sales generate 52% of turnover

Pub and restaurant group Oakman Inns has revealed that food now comprises more than half its turnover, as bosses at the firm said it was targeting sales of £37m during the next 12 months.

The company insists it has entered its new financial year, which commenced on April 1, in “positive” fashion after growing the business 7% like-for-like and 22% overall to £28.3m last year. EBITDA exceeded £5m.

Strong performances from new sites and major developments contributed to the improvement and with more projects on the way the business is adamant it will be able to add another £9m to its top line by April 2019.

CEO and company founder, Peter Borg-Neal, said: “We have had an excellent year with significant progress on many fronts. We were delighted with our 6.8% LFL growth, but it is perhaps even more pleasing that our comparables are, at 5.4%, showing the strength of our core estate. This excellent like-for-like sales growth has continued into the new financial year, and we are 5.2% up over the first seven weeks despite rolling over Easter 2017.”

Mr Borg-Neal said the chain’s trading split is now 40% drinks, 52% food and 8% rooms.

“We are very happy with that and we believe it is likely to remain broadly the same as the estate grows,” he said. “We believe that this year, Oakman can grow its sales to exceed £37m. This sales increase will derive from the existing portfolio and three main areas of business growth. Firstly, the gradual accumulation of quality sites for the core Oakman Inns business with a preference for freeholds. Secondly, an increased focus on developing and growing the Beech House brand in leasehold sites and finally the operation of management contracts for premium pubs and hotels owned by others.”

Oakman’s property pipeline remains strong, with deals signed for sites in Epsom, Prestwood, Hatfield and Hampton Hill. A further four sites are currently under negotiation, and it remains hopeful of successful conclusions to those negotiations. The company currently operates 21 premises.

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