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Hollywood Bowl swings to half-year loss

Mon 17 May 2021 09:13 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Hollywood Bowl Group reported an 83% slump in first-half revenues on Monday after lockdown restrictions closed its venues and pushed it into the red.

Revenues for the year to 31 March came in at £12.0m against £69.2m a year previously, while the pre-tax loss was £14.5m, compared to a profit of £15.2m in 2020.

The group was able to operate its full estate of ten-pin bowling alleys and mini-golf courses for just 11 weeks of the 60 weeks to 17 May.

However, Hollywood Bowl said it was now in a good position to benefit as restrictions were lifted, noting: "Our business has demonstrated its strength and resilience throughout the past year and our focus on our strategic priorities during lockdown will enable us to reopen our business in the best possible shape."

Restrictions on indoor hospitality have been lifted from Monday in most parts of the UK and Hollywood Bowl's centres will now reopen. The exception is its Glasgow sites as the city remains in tier three following a rise in Covid cases.

Chief executive Stephen Burns said: "We are excited to be reopening and welcoming our customers and team members back from today.

"We are emerging from this challenging year of continuous lockdowns in a strong position to capitalise on the opportunities to invest in, and significantly grow, our portfolio.

"The considerable demand we saw from customers when we reopened after the first lockdown, and the strength of our pre-bookings for May, gives us confidence that we recover to pre-pandemic performance levels as families flock back."

During October - when Hollywood Bowl's centres were able to trade, albeit with restrictions such as a 10pm curfew - the average spend per game was £10.16 compared to £10.29 in the first half of the previous year, which the firm said was in line with pre-Covid levels.

Shore Capital, which has a 'buy' rating on the stock, said: "The interim results are somewhat academic, especially with the £30m equity raise turning the group to a net cash position.

"With today marking the return of indoor hospitality and leisure, attention moves to how quickly trading recovers and how will it deploy its balance sheet. We are cautiously optimistic."

Hollywood Bowl, which has 64 centres, raised £30m in March to shore up its finances post lockdown and to invest in growth opportunities going forward.

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