Novus Leisure, which operates 52 premium bars, mostly in London, said it was on track to hit record profits of nearly £20m in 2011/12, in an update to the City this morning.
The company said that its EBITDA was likely to hit £19m for the year to June. Sales in the first six months of the year grew to £74.1m from £55.8m the year before. Like-for-like sales grew by 16.3%, and the half-year group EBITDA increased to £13.8m from £9.5m.
Novus said it had seen bookings through its pre-booking portal latenightlondon.com grow by 72%, which would help it to drive growth. Pre-booked sales now account for 55% of total group revenue, rising to 70% at Christmas.
Food sales also rose 7% and now account for 30% of revenue pre-11pm. The firm also indicated it had strong Olympic bookings with £5m+ sales in the pipeline and £500,000 of deposits already secured.
Steve Richards, chief executive of Novus Leisure, said: "The market remains very tough - even in central London there are plenty of operators struggling. The key is to pick the right market and then deliver the proposition better than anyone else; easy to say, a bit harder in the execution.
"Our market leadership in London, the successful refocusing of the recently acquired Balls Brothers, our ongoing appeal to the affluent 25-33-something and our pre-eminence in generating revenue from PBS have all contributed to continuing significant outperformance.
"We anticipate H2 will see a significant benefit from the investments we have made across the estate but particularly in the reformatted former Balls Brothers venues. Additionally, the rest of the year will see increased tourism in central London during the Olympics with many of our outlets pre-booked by large corporations to hold parties, a few of which will run for the duration of the Games."
By Neil Gerrard
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