Snow joke for Oakman Inns as adverse weather costs business £100,000

The heavy snowfall that blanketed much of the UK last month left a £100,000 hole in Oakman Inns’ anticipated sales figures, the company’s CEO has revealed.

Commenting today on the pub and restaurant chain’s performance over the four-week Christmas trading period, Peter Borg-Neal admitted that its numbers during the first week and early part of the second week of December were “badly hit” by the snow that fell on the Sunday.

He estimated that the adverse conditions had a “negative impact” of around £100,000 on the business, noting that although some customers rebooked for another date it still hampered the company’s like-for-like growth.

However, although December sales were down 2.5% half way through the month, they recovered strongly to deliver overall growth for the month of nearly 6%.

Mr Borg-Neal said: “Although the like-for-like sales were slightly down on our year-to-date run-rate I am delighted with our performance over Christmas. The snowfall had a negative impact of around £100,000 on our business and, even after allowing for the fact that some customers rebooked for another day, we estimate it knocked around 2.5% to 3% off the like-for-like increase.

“Accordingly, to achieve +5.9% despite the impact of the weather is a superb result. Even more so when you consider that we were rolling over strong comparables of +6.7% LFL growth in the same period last year.”

Meanwhile, Oakman today published its audited full-year results, for the year ending 2 April 2017, which show that the company’s turnover grew 20% year-on-year to £23.3m.

Average sales per core Oakman site continued to exceed £30,000 net per week, with site EBITDA growing by 31% to £4.04m

Two new sites opened in Solihull and Royston during the period, bringing the total number of developed sites at the year end to 16. Since the year end, Oakman Inns has acquired three more sites.

All three were purchased as going concerns, are currently trading and will receive further development into fully fledged Oakman Inns in due course. The company said that it is building a significant pipeline and is currently in negotiations on seven further sites.

Mr Peter Borg-Neal described 2016/17 as a “good year” for the business.

“As well as achieving strong sales and profit growth we were able to raise considerable sums and to build an exciting pipeline. Like everybody else we have been negatively impacted by the weakness of Sterling and the ever-increasing burden of taxation. However, we have genuine momentum within the business and the current year is also going very well.”

The company has broken several internal records over the past year, including record daily takings at one site of £205,000 and a record week of £898,000.

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