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Last close As at 04/02/2023
▲ −0.32 (−2.06%)
Hostmore has been formed to provide a platform for the development of hospitality brands. Its current operations are Fridays, a UK chain of American-styled casual dining restaurants (85 sites), 63rd+1st, a cocktail-led bar and restaurant brand (four sites) and QSR Fridays and Go (one site).
COVID-19’s exacerbation of longstanding structural difficulties in UK hospitality has shown up undeniable growth opportunities for well-funded operators, notably the increasing availability of prime sites at cheaper prices and on more flexible terms and the erosion of competition (industry sources estimate a potential loss at up to 30% of restaurants). Current challenges of rising costs and staff shortages are being mitigated by scale and career initiatives. Restaurant market LFL sales in October were down 4% y-o-y (Coffer CGA) and much further behind in real terms.
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In line with management expectations and testimony to market challenges, Hostmore saw like-for-like (LFL) revenue down 7% on pre-COVID H119 in the half to June. However, cash generation remained strong with adjusted free cash flow of £10m and liquidity headroom of £36m at end June reinforced by enhanced banking facilities. Guest feedback has improved markedly, attraction and retention of staff is good and senior management has been strengthened. Q322 trading (LFL revenue down 14% on 2019) reflects industry slowdown, compounded by rail strikes and heatwaves. Hostmore expects 2019 comparatives down 11% rest of the year despite best efforts at mitigation. Our forecasts are under review.
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