Goals Soccer Centres' like-for-like sales decline slowed significantly in the six months to 30 June. Like-for-like sales were down by 2% in the period against an 11.4% drop in the second half of 2015 following execution of the near-term operational improvement plan. Group sales for the first six months of the year were slightly down on the prior year at £17.0m (2015: £17.1m). Underlying EBITDA declined by 9.8% to £5.6m (2015: £6.2m) but has stabilised and is in line with H2 2015. Underlying EBITDA margin declined to 33.0% (2015: 36.4%) due to the small reduction in like-for-like sales and an increase in labour costs. Financial expenses increased by 6.2% to £0.4m (2015: £0.3m). Financial expense is expected to reduce in H2 due to the reduction in debt following the share placing. Underlying profit before income tax was 15.0% lower at £3.8m (2015: £4.5m) but has been maintained at the same level as H2 2015. Underlying earnings per share were 5.0p (2014: 6.0p). Non-recurring costs of £0.3m were incurred on restructuring following the strategic review of the Group. Further restructuring costs of approximately £0.5m are anticipated in H2. Underlying net cash from operations declined by 6.3% to £4.1m (2015: £4.3m). The Group placed 16.75 million shares at 100 pence each on 23 June 2016. This significantly strengthened the balance sheet. Net assets at 30 June 2016 were £91.5m (2015: £82.7m). Net debt at 30 June 2016 stood at £19.2m (2015: £38.0m) and current leverage of net debt to EBITDA is 1.7 times (2015: 2.7 times). Chairman Nick Basing said: "Whilst the financial results were below potential, they were anticipated and I am encouraged that our initial performance improvement plan has resulted in positive like-for-like sales for the last 11 weeks. "We have invested more capital in rejuvenating our core estate in the last 3 months than over the last 10 years. I am confident that this strategy will underpin future organic growth. "There remains much still to do, but I am pleased to say that we are further ahead in the steps to recovery at this stage than we thought we would be. So far so good."
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