Brighton Pier Sales Group Report Sales Fall in “Challenging Environment”

Brighton Pier Group has announced a decline in total revenues due to “ongoing inflationary pressures” in its unaudited results for the six months ending 25 June 2023.

Total revenues for the Group were £16.2 million (2022: £17.3 million), following a challenging second quarter as previously announced by the Group. The majority of this sales decline was from the Bars division which faced tough comparable numbers, following exceptionally strong trading from a post-pandemic surge in demand in the first half of 2022. Ongoing inflationary pressures, in particular to food, beverage and staff costs have had a significant impact on the Group’s operating margins in the first half of 2023, resulting in lower earnings than in the previous year.

BPG’s bars division operates under a variety of concepts, including Embargo República, Lola Lo, Le Fez, Lowlander and Coalition. The group is best known for operating Brighton Palace Pier, which sales performance was up 2% versus 2022.

“As highlighted in our last trading update, the group is navigating a challenging environment, with persistent high inflation and cautious spending by consumers negatively impacting trading,” says Anne Ackord, chief executive officer of BPG. “When combined with the ongoing cost pressures, this has resulted in the group recording lower than expected sales and earnings in the first half of 2023.

“Trading in the 12 weeks to 17 September 2023 has been further impacted by events outside of our control. The regular weekend train strikes in particular have reduced visitor numbers on the pier by 18% versus comparable weeks in 2022. Combined with the unseasonably wet weather and the hotel fire that disrupted sales on the pier for the final two weeks of July (two of the top 10 trading weeks of the year), trading has been unusually difficult.

“The group continues to be cash generative and has a robust balance sheet, making it well placed to weather the macroeconomic challenges and execute its longer-term growth strategy. I believe as a result there is significant upside opportunity for the group in a more typical year.”