Oakman Inns pub group has reported a 6.8% rise in like-for-like sales, marking a positive start to the new financial year despite difficult market conditions.
For the year end 1 April, sales for the year totalled £28.3m and site EBITDA (in unaudited management accounts) exceeded £5m.
The group also recorded total growth of 22.2% for the year with a trading split of 40% drinks, 52% food and 8% rooms.
Oakman Inns credited the growth to "excellent performance from new sites and major developments" in the pipeline.
Two new sites, the Beech House in Amersham and the Cherry Tree in Olney, opened at the end of the financial year. CEO and founder Peter Borg-Neal said today that both sites had "substantially overperformed against their investment target" averaging, respectively, more than £49k net and £45k net since opening.
It also acquired the Anchor in Hullbridge in August last year and even without investment, which is yet to be put in, the Anchor is "averaging more than £36k net per week for the year to date."
Growth has continued into the new financial year and Oakman was 5.2% up over the first seven weeks.
Deals have also been agreed for sites in in Epsom, Prestwood, Hatfield and Hampton Hill. A further four sites are currently under negotiation.
Borg-Neal, said: "We believe that this year, Oakman can grow its sales to exceed £37m. This sales increase will derive from the existing portfolio and three main areas of business growth. Firstly, the gradual accumulation of quality sites for the core Oakman Inns business with a preference for freeholds. Secondly, an increased focus on developing and growing the Beech House brand in leasehold sites and finally the operation of management contracts for premium pubs and hotels owned by others.
"We are still disturbed by the government's inflexibility on the matter of business rates, the on-going disparities of VAT and the inept mismanagement and financial impact of the government's apprentice scheme. We do, however, welcome the government's eventual support for our campaign to ban straws and our aspiration to ban the consumption of single-use plastics throughout Oakman Inns. These little differences, if made by every company, will help make a world of difference."