Shares in bar owner Nightcap have surged ahead after it said sales had smashed its expectations since indoor hospitality restrictions lifted last month.
he London Cocktail Club owner – co-founded by former Dragons’ Den investor Sarah Willingham – saw shares soar more than 18% higher at one stage after it said revenues rocketed by 92% against pre-pandemic levels in 2019 since the reopening of indoor hospitality on May 17.
On a like-for-like basis, sales in the three weeks to June 6 were 53% higher on 2019 levels.
Nightcap said the performance across its 19 premium bars in London, Bristol and Birmingham was “significantly ahead of the board’s expectations, given that the bars have restricted capacity due to social distancing requirements”.
It added that if all lockdown restrictions are not lifted on June 21, it still has “confidence that all sites will continue to trade well” even with current social distancing limits remaining in place.
The group said it continues to eye further expansion following its recent takeover of the nine-strong Adventure Bar Group, with management teams “travelling around the UK looking for new properties”.
It is in legal negotiations over a number of sites for several of the group’s brands, with a view to expanding its pipeline of new bars nationwide over the next three years.
The firm said the Adventure Bar Group notched up 96% growth in sales compared with 2019, up 46% on a like-for-like basis, including an all-time weekly sales record of more than £520,000 across its nine bars.
Nightcap floated on London’s junior Aim market and recently raised £10 million to help fund its acquisition of the Adventure Bar Group, more than doubling its initial fundraising target.
The stock market debut came shortly after it bought the London Cocktail Club chain of 10 bars for an initial £5.7 million sum as the group looks to take advantage of attractive property opportunities in the hospitality sector following the impact of Covid-19.
Ms Willingham leads the group as chief executive in her latest venture in the hospitality sector, coming after she co-founded London Cocktail Club and previously held a management role at Pizza Express before going on to buy the Bombay Bicycle Club restaurant chain.