All Our Bars reports positive trading despite headwinds

In a year to July 2019 wracked with cost headwinds and Brexit uncertainty, All Our Bars has announced positive results for the group of mainly wet-led bars in the South East.

All Our Bars, the South East-based, pub and bar group, has reported a 3% increase in like-for-like revenues for the year to July 2019, against the backdrop of cost headwinds and Brexit uncertainty.

Turnover for the year in question for the mainly wet-led business stood at £7 million, which was marginally down on the previous year to July 2018 at £7.3 million. However, the 16-strong group operated three fewer sites at the end of this year. True like-for-like revenues were up 3% against comparisons that included the World Cup and hot weather in 2018. EBITDA correspondingly improved by 25%.

Chief executive Paul Wigham said: “In view of the uncertain world around us, these are great results and thanks go out to our wonderful staff, suppliers and advisers. This further reinforces the relative strength of wet-led sites in a world where restaurants, particularly branded, are struggling against high rents, rates and operating costs.”

All Our Bars operates the Lemon Tree in Covent Garden, which is owned by Shaftesbury PLC and provides good evidence of the strength of the company’s wet offer.

Wigham continued: “Here we have a tiny pub of 16 covers on the first floor, and virtually no kitchen. The business is based on standing customers drinking craft beer and craft gin and the results are very consistent. Turnover to July 2019 was £567,000 compared to £517,000 in 2018 and £519,000 in 2017. Even ignoring sector price inflation, this demonstrates the resilience of properly operated wet-led bars versus other less proven ideas that come and go.”

He went on to say: “After the clouds of Brexit clear, we will be well placed to start looking to new sites in a business with no debt or private equity. We took the decision five years ago to reduce our estate from 38 then to 16 today and focus on what we do best. We are excited for the future and see opportunities to get good sites in good locations as the food operators adjust to their new world.”

All Our Bars operate 15 sites in London and the South East of England providing quality suburban bars and pubs with emphasis upon community involvement. The company HQ is based in Edenbridge, Kent.

Deborah Connell