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Nightcap to slow acquisition spree

Drinks-led investment firm Nightcap will “slow down” its expansion plan of buying new venues amid economic uncertainty.

The Cocktail Club chain is part of Nightcap’s portfolio

Announcing its audited full-year results, Nightcap (owner of The Cocktail Club, Adventure Bar Group, and Barrio Familia chains) saw its revenue increase to £36 million (US$42m) from £6m (US$7m), as it expanded its operations from 19 bars to 31 bars.

Despite the growth, Sarah Willingham, CEO of Nightcap, warned: “With the uncertainty in the economic climate in mind, we will slow down our expansion plans of new site openings during the current financial year.

“Our focus will be to maximise returns from our existing and newly opened sites and then continue our roll out programme as market conditions improve.”

The company also saw its adjusted EBITDA reach “impressive growth”, according to Willingham, rising from £0.2m (US$0.24m) to £3.3m (US$3.8m).

Williamgham said its expansion to 31 venues reflects the group’s “strong growth, driven by both new openings and acquisitions”.

“What excites me the most is that we have defined our brands and fine-tuned their business models to optimise the roll out of the individual brands,” she continued.

“We have opened several more sites post year end taking the total amount of opened bars to 36 and, whilst there are a growing number of outstanding sites available to us on increasingly advantageous terms, build costs have continued to increase and trading in the first 13 weeks of the new financial year (period to 2 October 2022) has been adversely impacted by record warm weather, train strikes and the cost-of-living crisis.”

In August, Nightcap reported that during the 13 weeks up to 3 July 2022, the firm generated £10.8m (US$13.2m) revenue, bringing its full-year revenue for fiscal 2022 to £35.9m (US$43.7m).

Earlier this year, Nightcap secured £10m (US$12.1m) from UK bank HSBC to expand its operations.

The investment firm bought London bar group Barrio in 2021 for a sum of £4.93m (US$5.07m).

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