Revolution Bars has hiked its full-year outlook thanks to a “rapid recovery” across sites that have reopened as Britons braved the cold to drink outside.
Shares in the group surged as much as 16% as it said the 25 bars that have reopened for outdoor service have traded “extremely strongly”, with sales running at 48% of pre-pandemic levels in the month to May 9.
Restaurants and bars with outdoor space have been allowed to reopen since April 12 in England and indoor service will be allowed by May 17, with social distancing restrictions, under the next milestone of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.
Revolution, which has 66 sites across the UK, said it is expecting a further surge in demand over the summer months as the restrictions are lifted.
“Together with continued tight cost control and better-than-anticipated support from third parties, we now expect that our full-year performance for the year ending June 30 2021 will be ahead of previous management expectations,” the group said.
The group’s strong trading for bars reopened so far comes despite only serving around 15% of normal customer capacity and for shorter hours than normal.
Rob Pitcher, chief executive of Revolution Bars, said: “We have seen huge pent-up demand and a rapid recovery across the nation in the bars with outside space that we have been able to open to date.
“The ability to trade inside from May 17 2021 provides another landmark in the road map and whilst we will still be restricted to using less than 50% of our actual capacity, the demand that we have experienced in recent weeks provides us with the confidence to open all the remaining bars.”
Revolution’s half-year results last month laid bare the impact of the coronavirus crisis and lockdowns on trading.
It slid to a £17.7 million pre-tax loss for the 26 weeks to December 26 after sales were battered by the pandemic.