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17 January 2022
Hostmore plc, the hospitality business focused on American-themed casual dining brand, 'Fridays', and the cocktail-led bar and restaurant brand, '63rd+1st', is pleased to announce a trading update for the financial year ending 2 January 2022. As of 17 January 2022, Hostmore operates 88 restaurants in the United Kingdom and Jersey, a majority of which are in high footfall locations, including retail parks, shopping centres and city centres.
Current trading and full year update
Further to the introduction of restrictive measures in Scotland and Wales, and the discussions for England to act in a similar manner, the Group is pleased to report that the trading for the month of December 2021 was ahead of early-month expectations.
Revenue for December was 8.3% lower than the comparable period in 2019. Whilst an increased level of guest reservation cancellations became evident as December progressed, and was in line with Government guidance relating to the new Omicron variant, this was more than offset by a combination of new reservations and walk-in demand which reflected the short-term nature of customer decision making while the uncertainty prevailed.
Given the strength of December performance, the Board expects EBITDA (pre-IFRS) for the year ending 2 January 2022 to be well ahead of the market consensus of £18.6m.
Trading since 3 January 2022 has been more in line with expectations and reflects what is usually a quieter period post the festive season.
The Group is also continuing its discussions with the remaining landlords on Covid-19 concessions and is optimistic that agreements will be reached in the coming weeks.
The Group will report its full year results for the year ending 2 January 2022 in March.
Despite continuing uncertainty regarding both the enduring nature of the Covid-19 virus and macro aspects, including inflation and utility prices, the Board remains confident in the Group's prospects for the year ahead and is well positioned to take advantage of future growth opportunities.
Robert B. Cook, Hostmore's Chief Executive Officer, commented:
"We are pleased the business has continued to perform strongly through another year of challenge and uncertainty. The past two years have been challenging but I believe the Group, including both my colleagues in-store and at the support centre, have used the time productively to make meaningful and lasting changes for the future. The improvement in our guest satisfaction scores also bears testament to the ongoing support of the many loyal customers who appreciate our efforts.
Despite the ongoing uncertainty regarding Covid and how it may affect our lives, as well as the well documented inflationary environment, I am positive about the future of the business. The replenishment of our balance sheet and the goodwill of our landlord community has enabled the contracting of the latest addition to our estate, being our first QSR store in Dundee, scheduled to open in March 2022. Two further 63rd+1st sites, in Cambridge and Edinburgh, and two Fridays' stores, in Chelmsford and Barnsley, are now scheduled to open in the current calendar year, with more in the pipeline. This enables us to continue with our planned expansion of the group, which will benefit all of our stakeholders."
Robert B. Cook, Chief Executive Officer
Alan Clark, Chief Financial Officer
+44 330 460 5588
020 3957 5045
NOTES TO EDITORS
Hostmore is a growing hospitality business with its current operations focused on the American-themed casual dining brand, 'Fridays', and the cocktail-led bar and restaurant brand, '63rd+1st'. While Fridays has been trading for over three decades in the UK, Hostmore was established in 2021 to provide a platform for the development of hospitality brands under the leadership of an experienced management team that has a track record of building businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors. Hostmore's businesses are defined by their iconic brand experience and vibrant heritage. As of 17 January 2022, Hostmore operates 88 restaurants in the United Kingdom and Jersey, a majority of which are in high footfall locations, including retail parks, shopping centres and city centres. Hostmore is exploring opportunities with TGI Friday's, Inc., the franchisor of Fridays, to expand its existing brands into new franchise territories and is seeking to add rapidly growing, early-stage businesses to its portfolio of complementary hospitality brands, as well as to extend its offering in other experience-led, leisure concepts.
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) 596/2014 as it forms part of UK domestic law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 ("MAR"), and is disclosed in accordance with the Company's obligations under Article 17 of MAR. The person responsible for making this announcement is the Company Secretary.