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Hollywood Bowl Group (BOWL)

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Thursday 15 October, 2020

Hollywood Bowl Group

Trading Statement - Year Ended 30 September 2020

RNS Number : 1226C
Hollywood Bowl Group plc
15 October 2020
 

15 October 2020

 

Hollywood Bowl Group

("Hollywood Bowl" or the "Group")

 

Trading update for the year ended 30 September 2020

 

ENCOURAGING CUSTOMER DEMAND FOLLOWING REOPENING

 

Hollywood Bowl Group, the UK's largest ten-pin bowling operator, announces a trading update for the financial year ended 30 September 2020 (FY20).

 

Highlights

 

· Strong financial and operational performance in the first five months of FY20 with revenue up 12.5% and like-for-like revenue up 9.4%

·Five-month temporary closure of entire estate from March due to Government-mandated measures around COVID-19 resulting in FY20 revenues of £79.5m

·Majority of estate safely reopened in mid-August with initial trading exceeding expectations and cash positive months in August and September

· Three new Puttstars centres and one new Hollywood Bowl centre successfully opened in the period

· Trading since estate reopening at 68% of prior year revenue

·Annual like-for-like revenues up 0.6% and the Group expects to report a marginal profit for the year despite impact of the pandemic

· Strong balance sheet, with net debt of £8.9m at year-end 

 

Trading update

 

The Group has responded well to the challenges of this unprecedented period of disruption.

 

Having delivered a strong financial and operational performance in the first five months of the financial year, with revenue up 12.5% and like-for-like revenue up 9.4%, management reacted quickly to limit the impact on the business of the Government-mandated temporary closure of the estate on 20 March 2020.  

 

The Group successfully reopened its bowling centres, excluding those subject to local restrictions on 15 August 2020. All centres have extensive COVID-secure operating measures in place, designed to enable social-distancing and help ensure the safety of our team and customers. As of 30 September 2020, all but one of the Company's centres were open and operating under these measures.

 

Initial trading since reopening has exceeded expectations at 68% of prior year revenue, although restricted capacity, 10pm curfews, localised lockdowns and smaller group sizes have significantly limited this performance.

 

Despite this challenging environment we have experienced strong customer demand, at levels similar to last year for holiday and weekend periods, and the majority of centres have traded at maximum capacity levels (as permitted by Government guidance). Since reopening in mid-August, the Group has been cash positive for both August and September.

 

Trading remains highly sensitive to the impact of further local and national Government-mandated restrictions.

 

The positive feedback from returning customers has been very encouraging, particularly regarding the new safety measures. The Group continues to listen closely to its customers and teams to adapt, test and trial further new operating initiatives to mitigate centre capacity restrictions, with the primary priority of ensuring customers and team members continue to feel safe. The Group intends to roll out a number of these new COVID-secure initiatives in centres before the end of 2020.

 

The Group is also pleased with the customer feedback and trading performance of its new mini-golf brand, Puttstars, which is also operating under the Group's social distancing and COVID operating measures. Three new Puttstars sites were successfully launched in Leeds, York and Rochdale with all trading very well and in line with our pre-COVID expectations. The Group also opened its latest new Hollywood Bowl centre in York, which is trading in line with expectations, and takes the Group's total number of bowling and Puttstars centres to 64.

 

The Group expects to report a 38.7% decrease in year on year revenue to £79.5m and encouragingly still deliver a marginal profit for the financial year, despite the impact of COVID-19 related Government measures.

 

The Group's balance sheet remains strong, with net debt of £8.9m at year-end and management continues its prudent approach to its cost base and capital expenditure.

 

Stephen Burns, Chief Executive of Hollywood Bowl, said:

 

"I am very proud of the way our team has risen to the challenge of creating a safe environment which allows our customers to still enjoy the same fun filled experiences with us. The strong demand for bookings is very encouraging and the feedback we have received on our new COVID-secure operations has been excellent. We continue to explore new ways of working to increase our capacity at peak times whilst maintaining a safe and compliant environment."

 

"Despite the ongoing uncertainty presented by the potential for local restrictions, we remain confident in the continued demand for a family focused, value for money and enjoyable experience. Our centre teams look forward to continuing to provide our unique entertainment experience safely for our customers."

 

 

 

 

Enquiries:

 

Hollywood Bowl Group

Stephen Burns, Chief Executive

Laurence Keen, Chief Financial Officer

Mat Hart, Chief Marketing and Technology Officer

 

 

via Tulchan Communications

 

 

Tulchan Communications

James Macey White

Elizabeth Snow

Amber Ahluwalia

+44 (0) 207 353 4200

 

Notes to Editors:

 

Hollywood Bowl Group is the UK's largest ten-pin bowling operator, with a high-quality portfolio of 64 centres operating across the UK under the Hollywood Bowl, AMF and Puttstars (mini golf) brands. The Group specialises in operating large, high quality bowling centres, predominantly located in out of town multi-use leisure parks (typically co-located with cinema and casual dining sites) and large retail parks. The centres are designed to offer a complete family entertainment experience with each centre offering bowling lanes, on-site dining, licensed bars, and state-of-the-art family games arcades.

 

More information on Hollywood Bowl's Covid-secure measures can be seen on Hollywood Bowl's website: www.hollywoodbowl.co.uk/have-fun-play-safe

 

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