Belfast Telegraph

Goals shares on the slide as first-half profits fall

The firm saw a 25.7% fall in pre-tax profit to £2.6 million in the first half.

Shares in five-a-side football firm Goals Soccer Centres slumped on Tuesday after the firm reported falling profits and said that turnaround plans are taking longer than expected.

The firm saw a 25.7% fall in pre-tax profit to £2.6 million in the first half of the year, and said that like-for-like sales in the second half will grow at a slower rate than anticipated.

Goals said the slowdown is linked to underperforming sites which have “not received the required level of arena investment” and pressure on consumer spending.

The firm added the “turnaround to profitable growth is taking slightly longer than anticipated”.

Shares tumbled by over 10% in morning trading to 93p.

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Revenue in the six months to June 30 rose 2.2% to £17.4 million while like-for-like sales grew 1.6% and boss Mark Jones struck a positive note.

“We have begun our journey in turning round the business and there remains considerable opportunity to deliver continued improved performance and returns from the business,” he said.

Goals returned to profit last year after posting a loss in 2015 and has been boosted by a new strategy under Mr Jones.

Part of his five-year plan includes a refurbishment programme, which has seen upgraded ProTurf pitches, new LED lighting systems and renewed stadia boards at pitches across its estate.

In July, Goals also agreed a 50:50 joint venture with Manchester City owner City Football Group, which will stump up 16 million US dollars (£12 million) to finance the launch of new sites across America.

The announcement came as Goals called time on merger talks with rival Powerleague.

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