Pub City Group posted a trading statement for the 52-week period to 27 December 2020, revealing a 57% plunge in sales.
The pub chain, which owns 48 pubs across Southern England and Wales, saw sales fall from £60m to £25.7m amid the pandemic and Coronavirus restrictions.
However, despite the drop in sales over 2020 Pub City Group is still making plans to expand and has four development sites. The group said: “Actions to enhance and improve the business during the pandemic will enable the Group to rapidly take advantage of pent-up consumer demand and opportunities that will undoubtedly emerge.”
The cash burn has been reduced to £300k per month, which is excluding all government grants with the exception of furlough. pub City Group expects a rapid return to cash generation and profitability once they reopen due to the enhanced operational model.
The group has furloughed all staff – except eight employees.
Clive Watson, Chairman of City Pub Group said: “2020 has been a very challenging year, but decisions made since March 2020 with regards to the fundraising, cost control, streamlining of the business, and strengthening of the board has resulted in a very strong balance sheet, good levels of liquidity, a strengthening of our business model, a more focussed proposition and most importantly, pure determination to go out there and do the business once the pubs reopen.
“We have the right people in the key roles, whether in the pubs or head office and a fantastic estate to trade from. I look forward to a time when I can announce to shareholders that we are on the acquisition trail again, but this will only be considered once we are hitting high levels of optimisation from our existing capacity,” he added.