Food and DrinkHospitalityNews

Oakman to Demerge The Seafood Pub Company Following First-Half Sales Growth

Oakman Group is demerging its Seafood Pub Company division, which it secured three years ago and had grown to 11 sites. The Seafood Pub Company was founded in 2011 by Jocelyn Neve, with Oakman Group acquiring its then six-pub portfolio and intellectual property at the beginning of 2021, and subsequently adding five further sites to the portfolio.

The Seafood Pub Company is currently being demerged from Oakman and will move forward under the sole ownership and direction of Dermot King,” the group said. Presently, the portfolio consists of the Derby Arms in Longridge ,Alma Inn in Colne, the, the Farmers Arms in Great Eccleston, the Fenwick in Claughton, , the Grand Junction Arms in Tring, the Fleece in Ilkley ,the Hesketh Arms in Rufford, the Pointer in Brill and the Three Locks in Stoke Hammond the Navigation Inn in Lapworth.

Following the demerger, Oakman will comprise 33 operating sites and five pipeline sites.
Mr King has owned the Seafood Pub Company brand since its 2021 acquisition, with Oakman running it under a management deal. The deal means Oakman will end the contract and King will run it as an independent business.

The company revealed the divestment as part of its financial reporting for the year ending 2 July 2023. During this period, sales rose by more than 6% from £54.4m to £57.8m.

The group also reported that for the five weeks ending on 31 December 2023, the core Oakman Inns business delivered sales of £7.7m, representing an increase of 9.5% on the prior year and like-for-like growth of 4.5%.

The positive Christmas trading continued a trend of gradual improvement in performance, following a more challenging start to the first half of 2023 driven by the unseasonably poor weather in July and August.

Furthermore, the business revealed that in the second half of 2023 it achieved group sales of £32.3m, a 4.1% increase versus the prior year.

Oakman’s CEO, Peter Borg-Neal, commented: “External trading conditions remain challenging. However, I am delighted with the way the whole team has come together to deliver significant profit recovery over the past six months.

“The business is in great shape to meet the near-term challenges we face and to deliver significant growth in the medium-term.”