Strong annual results bring festive cheer to Oakman Inns

Oakman Inns & Restaurants has announced financial results for the 15 months to the end of June 2019, which shows turnover stood at £46.7m, an increase in like-for-like sales of 7.3%.

Site EBITDA was £8.6m with Group EBITDA £4.2m. Despite inflationary pressures, margins have been maintained, with the average sales per core Oakman Inn running at over £35k net of VAT per week.

Oakman Inns also opened an additional four sites:
The Four Alls, Welford upon Avon in May 2018
The Royal Foresters in Ascot in July 2018
The Beech House, Hampton Hill in December 2018
The Polecat, Prestwood in April 2019

Additionally, The Beech House in Beaconsfield was doubled in size and refurbished before re-opening in April 2019. Significant capital investments were also made at The Globe in Warwick and The Anchor in Hullbridge. After the results period, the company opened its 24th Oakman Inn – The Lost Boy in Farnham.

During this period, Oakman Inns significantly strengthened its balance sheet through two significant transactions with the EI Group and Downing Fund Management that have resulted in bringing the ownership of £25m of freehold assets within the group.

CEO Peter Borg-Neal (pictured) commented, “Overall we have maintained our corporate momentum despite an unhelpful environment with the uncertainty around Brexit impacting both consumer and investor confidence.

'We believe that the post-election period will bring some momentum in to the economy and we expect that the new Government will keep their promises with respect to a root and branch reform of Business Rates.”

“We have strengthened our senior management team, and, have also continued our focus on investing in training and providing clear and long-term career paths for a truly talented and great group of colleagues. We have once again retained our 3-star accreditation in the Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For.

'In April, the Alix Partners Growth Index identified Oakman Inns as the fastest-growing pub company in the UK – and the third fastest-growing across the whole of the hospitality sector.

'Both these accolades are a recognition of our focused strategy of operating well-invested sites, managed by well-trained staff, selling a premium product for a fair price that customers will pay in an environment that welcomes and embraces them.

'Coupled with our desire to become the ‘third place’ in the communities we serve, Oakman is well placed to continue to grow and serve our customers in 2020.”

This week also sees the launch of a £10m fund-raising exercise which primarily offers investors the opportunity to acquire new shares, preference shares or investment bonds, or a combination of all three. Each has the merit of being either tax-advantageous or delivering favourable ROIs over the life of the investment, subject to the usual investment caveats.

Borg-Neal said, “UK earnings’ growth has comfortably outstripped inflation over the last eighteen months and, in normal circumstances, this increase in disposable income would be an extremely positive indicator for market conditions in the hospitality sector.

'However, spending has been restrained by weak consumer confidence, driven by uncertainty over Brexit and I believe it is reasonable to conclude that there may well be a bounce in consumer confidence – and hence spending – now that the country has a clear direction of travel.”

Oakman Inns has already announced that The Beech House in Epsom, The Rose in Wokingham and The Grand Junction in Buckingham will open between April and November 2020 and their plans for Bush Hall continue towards a 2021 completion.

The new vehicle for the contract management of small privately-owned pubs, Ashmore Inns, is also expected to acquire at least two new properties in 2020.