Shares in premium bars operator Revolution Bars (RBG:AIM) jumped 8.6% to 15.75p on Thursday after reporting trading ahead of expectations since reopening venues.

At the 5 June fundraising and move to AIM the company detailed its base-case scenario of delivering 55% of prior-year sales by August with minimal improvement in September and October.

As a result of the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, trading over the last four weeks between Monday and Wednesday when the £10 discount applies to food and soft drinks, has driven sales to 188.4% of the prior year.

This helped to push overall sales to 77.5% of levels achieved last year, significantly ahead of the base-case and underlining the success of the scheme.

So much so that Revolution Bars will continue to operate the scheme at its own cost at least until the end of September.

Increased traffic during the earlier part of the week and the daytime focus on food demonstrate the broader appeal of the brands.

However, despite the relatively good news, it’s important to remember that sales remain 27.5% below last year.

IRKSOME LANDLORDS

The group had 39 bars open as at 25 August while a further 23 will be opened by 7 September, leaving just 11 bars that are unlikely to open because of the social distancing rules. The lease to Revolution Liverpool-Cavern Quarter is one of the bars not to reopen and its lease will be surrendered at the end of the month.

Landlords at 23 venues have granted rent waivers in an effort to share the cost burden while trading is impacted by constrained social distancing and ongoing discussions at 16 other venues are moving in the same direction. However that still leaves almost half the estate where landlords have so far refused to have meaningful discussions.

Chief executive Rob Pitcher commented, ‘we would welcome an indication from government as to their inclination to assist in the grave issues that exist with commercial rental arrears and the moratorium that is due to end on 30 September 2020 as well as an indication of further financial support for the late-night venues sector that remains closed by government order.’

DELAYED RESULTS

Management priorities remain reducing costs and reopening venues in a safe manner for staff and clients while resolving outstanding rent issues.

The logistical challenge of a remote audit will result in a delayed preliminary announcement of full-year results which is not expected to take place until the end of November 2020. Last year the preliminary results were released on 1 October.

READ MORE ABOUT REVOLUTION BARS HERE

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Issue Date: 03 Sep 2020