Bar operator Revolution sinks to loss as costs weigh

Revolution operates bars in Ipswich, Norwich and Cambridge

Revolution operates bars in Ipswich, Norwich and Cambridge - Credit: Archant

Takeover target Revolution Bars swung to a loss in the first half of the year as the group was weighed down by exceptional costs.

The group, which last year was the subject of a takeover tussle between rivals Deltic and Stonegate, booked a £4 million loss in the 26 weeks to December 30, compared with a £5 million profit in the same period last year.

Revolution, which operates bars in Ipswich, Norwich and Cambridge, was stung by £9.6 million in exceptional costs, which included provisions for onerous lease costs, asset impairment charges and costs linked to changing its chief executive.

Revenue rose 11% to £73.8 million, with like-for-like sales edging up 0.4%.

Executive chairman Keith Edelman said: “I am delighted with our sales performance in the second quarter and over the Christmas period, which shows the clear underlying strength of our business and continues to demonstrate the appeal and potential of our brands.

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“New openings are performing particularly strongly, and site refurbishments are delivering healthy returns, meaning the group can pursue its strategy of profitable growth and drive like-for-like sales in its core estate.”

Revolution, which owns more than 60 Revolution and Revolucion de Cuba high street bars, opened four new venues during the half, in Belfast, Solihull, Inverness and Putney.

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The company was the subject of a protracted brawl between Deltic and Slug And Lettuce owner Stonegate last year, which had tabled a £101.5 million bid for the group.

However, Stonegate’s takeover collapsed in October after Revolution shareholders rejected the bid as Deltic lurked in the background, proposing an all-paper merger.

Under the plan from Deltic, Britain’s biggest nightclub operator, Revolution would own 65% of a combined entity and Deltic the remaining 35%, creating a bar giant with annual sales of more than £270 million.

However, its overtures were continuously rejected as Revolution sought instead to be taken over by Stonegate.

The botched takeover attempt from Stonegate left the door open for Deltic to resurrect its interest, which has since snapped up a 3% stake in Revolution.

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