Pub Group shares rise over strong Christmas trading

Pub Group shares rise over strong Christmas trading

City Pub Group (LON: CPC) has reported a positive start to the year, revealing strong Christmas trading.

In the 52 weeks to the end of December, the group reported a 1.6% increase in like-for-like sales.

Sales were particularly strong over the Christmas period, where the six weeks to January 6, like-for-like sales were up by 7%.

City Pub Group opened 11 new sites over 2018, including its £2.2 million acquisition of Chapel 1877 in Cardiff. The deal was brokered by GVA’s Cardiff hotels and leisure team.

John Coggins, associate director at GVA, said about the deal: “On behalf of the vendor, Bevan Holdings we received multiple expressions of interest for the business, a reflection of Chapel 1877’s appeal within the city.”

“The Chapel is an ideal fit for the City Pub Company’s growing portfolio of 42 pubs across the south of England and Wales and we’re delighted to have completed on the confidential sale in a matter of weeks with excellent assistance from Gordon Dadds Solicitors.”

Turnover for the group increased by 22% to £45.6 million, thanks to increased volume. The pub chain said that it would benefit from the higher prices introduced at the end of the year in 2019.

“Trading was very encouraging over the festive period and throughout 2018, particularly post-Easter. We have grown very rapidly over the last two years, performed well and our new sites are showing their potential,” said Clive Watson, the group’s chief executive. 

“Our low gearing puts us in an enviable position to take advantage of attractive acquisition opportunities that present themselves. If we enter a period of uncertainty caused by Brexit, there is much we can continue to achieve organically,” he added.

Shares rose 4% on Wednesday morning. They are currently trading +4.31% at 205,50 (1225GMT) 

In other news, Wednesday also saw a strong trading update released by Bovis Homes, despite Brexit uncertainty.