Belfast Telegraph

Hollywood Bowl strikes with profits leap

The Hemel Hempstead-headquartered group saw pre-tax profit rocket from £2.6 million to £21.1 million in the year to September 30.

Hollywood Bowl, Britain’s biggest ten-pin bowling operator, has reported a sharp rise in profits as the group continues to grow sales and open new sites.

The Hemel Hempstead-headquartered group, which listed on the stock exchange last year, saw pre-tax profit rocket from £2.6 million to £21.1 million in the year to September 30.

The figures were flattered by the absence of large exceptional items, which dragged down its performance last year.

Revenue at Hollywood Bowl rose 8.8% to £114 million, while like for like sales grew 3.5% as more people rocked up at its venues to partake in the pastime.

Total game volumes increased 8.5% with 13 million games bowled as the average spend per game increased 0.8% to £8.70.

Boss Stephen Burns said: “I am delighted to report a strong operational and financial performance for our first full year since IPO.

“Our rebrands and refurbishments have delivered significant returns and new centres opened in the year have performed ahead of expectations.

“The investments we have made in improving our brand and customer offer have been well received by customers, resulting in more visits and increased spend per game across our portfolio.”

The group has over 50 centres across the UK and opened three new centres – in Derby, Southampton and The London O2 – in the period.

Hollywood Bowl also announced a final ordinary dividend of 3.95p per share and a special dividend of 3.33p.

Mr Burns added that Brexit is unlikely to impact the firm, despite a squeeze on consumer spending triggered by the collapse in the pound following last year’s referendum.

“There is much talk in the press and elsewhere of the impact of ‘Brexit’.

“We do not believe that the exit of the United Kingdom from the EU will have an impact on the underlying performance of our business because Hollywood Bowl, and the activities we offer, have great customer appeal throughout the country and through all economic cycle,” he said.

The firm raised £181 million in 2016 through an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange, valuing the firm at £240 million.

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