Oakman Group Plc announces strategic and financial progress during the first half of the new financial year

Oakman Group Plc announces strategic and financial progress during the first half of the new financial year

Oakman Group Plc (“Oakman”) announces that it has filed accounts for the financial year ending 2 July 2023. Over this period, sales rose by over 6% from £54.4m to £57.8m and EBITDA was £1.8m.

Oakman also reports a strong end to the first half of financial year 2023/24 with sales over the Christmas trading period showing growth over the prior year. For the five weeks ending on December 31 2023, the core Oakman Inns business delivered sales of £7.7m representing an increase of 9.5% on the prior year and LFL growth of 4.5%. The positive Christmas trading had continued a trend of gradual improvement in performance, following a more challenging start to H1 driven by the unseasonably poor weather in July and August.

In addition to delivering sales growth, Oakman has made significant progress with respect to cost reduction and profit delivery. For the 26 weeks ending on 31 of December 2023, the business reported:

  • Total Group sales of £32.3m (+4.1% versus prior year)
  • Site EBITDA of £5.4m (+10.4%)
  • Business EBITDA of £2.4m (+40%)

Strategic Progress

The company has made significant strategic progress during the first half of the financial year:

  • Fundraising
    1. Oakman has successfully raised £3.5m in the form of secured loan notes, principally from existing shareholders.
    1. The proceeds will be utilised to deliver continued profit growth of the underlying business and provide investment for secured pipeline sites.
  • Debt refinancing
    1. Cynergy and Santander continue to be highly supportive of Oakman with Santander recently extending the maturity of its facility to 2025.
  • Corporate Simplification
    1. At the beginning of the new financial year, the number of legal entities within the group was reduced from 12 to five, resulting in significant cost savings for the business.
    1. Seafood Pub Company is currently being demerged from Oakman and will move forward under the sole ownership and direction of Dermot King.

  Peter Lowbridge Photography.

  • People
    1. Oakman continues to fully recognise that people are the most important part of the business and its focus on attracting, retaining and developing great people is as strong as ever.
    1. Team turnover has reduced to 59% down from a post-furlough high of 82%
    1. 48% of our people have been with the business for a year or longer.
    1. Our commitment to training has for the third time been recognised by the prestigious annual Princess Royal Award for Training Excellence.
    1. Oakman is a finalist in four categories in the forthcoming Publican Awards, further reflecting the excellence of our people.

 Peter Lowbridge Photography.

  • Property
    1. Oakman has agreed terms to purchase certain freehold interests for pubs currently operated by the company as leaseholds or under management contracts, providing an even stronger asset-backing to the business.
    1. Following the demerger of Seafood Pub Company, Oakman will comprise 33 trading sites and five pipeline sites.
  • Sustainability
    1. Oakman has achieved ‘Road To Net Zero’ certification with a clear commitment to reduce our carbon footprint.
  • Liquidity Event
    1. Sapient Corporate Finance was appointed in November to facilitate a process to provide liquidity to the shareholders of Oakman during 2024.CEO, Peter Borg-Neal, commented:

      “External trading conditions remain challenging. However, I am delighted with the way the whole team has come together to deliver significant profit recovery over the past six months. The business is in great shape to meet the near-term challenges we face and to deliver significant growth in the medium-term.”