Growth at Oakman Group slows as a result of staff shortages

pub & bar

By BigHospitality

- Last updated on GMT

Growth at pub operator Oakman Group slows as a result of staff shortages

Related tags: Oakman Group, Peter Borg-Neal, Pub & bar, Seafood pub company

Pub operator Oakman Group says that the group has lost 2-3% of growth as a result of having to restrict trading because of a shortage of staff.

Total sales at the group were £65.1m for the financial year 2021/22 (ending 3 July) with like-for-like sales vs 2020/21 up 79%. Net sales for the year ending 4 July 2021 were £32.4m, up £2.5m on 2019/20, with EBITDA £3.6m, up from a loss of £2.6m in 2019/20.
“These numbers would have been even better but for the continued challenges regarding staffing,” says executive chairman, Peter Borg-Neal. “Exact calculations are difficult, but we estimate that, as a consequence of having to restrict trading at various times, we have lost around a further 2-3% of growth.”
Borg adds that despite the challenges the company is “well placed to make further progress in the year ahead”.
Oakman has continued to add and develop new sites and says its three new openings, The Rose in Wokingham; The Grand Junction Arms in Bulbourne; and The Grand Junction in Buckingham have all performed ahead of their investment targets.
The group recently bought The Hesketh Arms in Rufford, Lancashire, and will open The Beech House in Watford in September.
It acquired six pubs and the intellectual property of The Seafood Pub Company in early 2021. Since then, four sites have been added with more planned over the coming year.
Oakman says that it was hit hard by Christmas cancellations and sales remained soft through to the spring. It has reported that trading during the Jubilee week in June was not as strong as it had hoped. Following the end of lockdown and Covid restrictions, inflation and staff shortages are now the biggest challenges the group faces, it says.
“It is clear, that the runaway inflation will have an impact on profit and there is a high degree of uncertainty driven by the wider geo-political issues such as the war in Ukraine,” adds Borg-Neal.
“Accordingly, we have had to slow our opening program down as we have become a little more cautious. However, I am delighted with the performance of the three we have opened and am very optimistic regarding the prospects of our new site in Watford. Furthermore, we have an excellent pipeline ready to be developed as funding, and our confidence levels, allows.”
Oakman was founded in 2007 and currently operates 38 venues across the UK.

Related topics: Business & Legislation, Pub & Bar

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