The Group, which operates 52 premium bars – the majority of which are in London – also reported a 16.3 per cent rise in like-for-like sales, while half-year group EBITDA increased from £55.8m to £74.1m.
“Novus is in great shape continuing to trade strongly with April delivering +15 per cent like-for-like growth,” said Steve Richards – Novus Leisure’s chief executive. “With the London market remaining buoyant for the foreseeable future, we will continue to trade the business hard and take advantage of our position in acquiring new sites to drive further.
“Our market leadership in London, the successful refocusing of the recently-acquired Balls Brothers, our ongoing appeal to the affluent 25-33-something and our pre-eminence in generating revenue from PBS have all contributed to continuing significant outperformance.
“The market remains very tough, even in central London there are plenty of operators struggling, the key is to pick the right market to market too and then deliver the proposition better than anyone else; easy to say a bit harder in the execution.”
Novus, which has the Tiger Tiger brand within its portfolio, recently announced plans to double its estate over the next four years. The Group went on to state that it continued to seek single site and multiple acquisitions in London, and was currently in talks for two new venues in ‘prime locations’.
Food sales were also up, by 7 per cent across the group – these sales now account for 30 per cent of revenue pre-11pm. Olympic bookings are also strong, with a £5m-plus sales pipeline in place and £500k of deposits already secured, and more currently being negotiated.
“We anticipate H2 will see a significant benefit from the investments we have made across the estate but particularly in the reformatted former Balls Brothers venues,” added Richards. “Additionally, the rest of the year will see increased tourism in central London during the Olympics with many of our outlets pre-booked by large corporations to hold after parties, a few of which will run for the duration of the Games.”