Oakman’s Eyes Growth Despite Recording Losses

The Oakman Group has produced an EBITDA loss of £2.6m and a total loss of £13.9m over the last year, as the business files its results for 2020. As the group’s performance in the past year was severely affected by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company stated: “As with the rest of the hospitality industry, performance in the year was severely affected by the impact of the covid-19 pandemic. Prior to the enforced closure of the business the company had been trading well with like-for-like sales growth of +4% and total sales growth of 13%. Whilst the costs of the closure impacted on these results, the government support did not produce a benefit until after the year end.

This left the group with net liabilities of £10.8m, a figure that increases to positive assets of £13.6m after reclassification of shareholder loans as shareholder funds. There has been significant post-balance sheet activity and the company is stable, well-funded and ready for further growth.

The Oakman Group is on course to make a substantial Ebitda profit in 2020/21. In corporate terms, 2020 was clearly a frustrating and disappointing result, but the covid-19 pandemic was an unprecedented crisis that has affected both the sector and country as a whole in myriad and tragic ways.

However, thanks to the support of all our stakeholders, the group’s operating ability and its prospects remain rock solid. Indeed, the business has not only managed to survive the multiple closure periods but has grown its site pipeline, raised significant equity for growth and is expected, over the next 24 months, to be a net beneficiary of the pandemic. Since the June 2020 year end: £9m of equity has been raised post year end, split between £4.9m of new funds and £4.1m of shareholder loan conversions.

Pledges have been received for at least a further £4.8m of loan conversions; the damage to the cashflow from the second and third lockdown has been entirely offset by significant government support in the form of a VAT cut on food and accommodation, business rates cuts and, to a lesser degree, grants. The group will have opened eight new sites by the end of June bringing the total number of sites to 35; these were: two Oakman Inns and six Seafood Pubs. Oakman has a substantial pipeline and expects to have 40 operational sites by the end of FY22. When we were allowed to trade, our results were on average over 40% ahead of the market, suggesting that we have understood changes in consumer behaviour of which, post-pandemic, we are well placed to take advantage. Sales in the first week after reopening indoors were very strong with like-for-like sales +38.5% and total sales +71.4% versus the same week two years ago with average sales per fully invested Oakman Inn hitting £45k net of VAT.”

Executive chairman Peter Borg-Neal said: “Our chief executive Dermot King, and his team have done an outstanding job navigating our business through this difficult period of time. We are trading very successfully, have retained the vast majority of our colleagues and have grown our estate. In addition, Steven Kenee’s excellent work in attracting equity investment from existing and new shareholders has provided not only financial stability, but also firepower to continue our growth.”