Revolution Bars revenue up 8.7% to £142m

Manchester-based Revolution Bars Group said on Tuesday its revenue rose 8.7% to £141.9m in the year to June 30, 2018, but it made an operating loss of £3 million amid exceptional costs of £11.1 million and “significant disruption … and factors outside of its control.”

The firm said its second half performance was affected “by the uncertainty following corporate activity, management change, extremes of weather and the FIFA World Cup.”

On September 7, Revolution Bars Group had said: “The board confirms that it is in the very preliminary stages of considering a transaction involving a possible acquisition of (nightclub company) Deltic.”

Revolution Bars Group operates 76 bars trading under the Revolution and Revolución de Cuba brands.

Chairman Keith Edelman said in his statement on Tuesday: “The business experienced significant and well-documented levels of corporate activity in the first half followed by the resignation of the chief executive officer.

“During that activity, development work stalled while management was distracted, and in the aftermath a number of experienced senior managers on the operational side of the business resigned causing further disruption which adversely impacted trading.

“In this light, delivering record Christmas sales was an excellent result for the business.

“There is no further update on a possible acquisition of Deltic Group Limited following the group’s statement regarding media speculation on 7 September 2018.

“The board will notify shareholders of any developments …

“We estimate that the ‘Beast from the East’ disrupted sales by c£0.5m in early March; Easter trading was disrupted by the failure of Conviviality, owner of the group’s principal drinks supplier Matthew Clark, further distracting management from implementing new initiatives; and the hottest summer on record combined with England’s extended World Cup run detracted from the appeal of our bars, which have neither TVs nor significant outside areas.

“These factors together with an unsettled workforce and the widely documented cost pressures faced by the whole sector led to 2017/18 being a disappointing year and one from which we expect to significantly improve upon.”

Revolution Bars Group CEO Rob Pitcher said on Tuesday: “This is a fundamentally good business which has seen significant disruption over the past year and factors outside of its control.

“The group’s strategy is sound and with a stable management team and better execution the company can rapidly return to growth.

“The performance of our new sites is encouraging, in line with our expectations and set to deliver good returns underpinning our strategic view of the business. 

“Our confidence in the potential of the group is undiminished.”