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‘Exceptional’ summer holiday trade boosts Hollywood Bowl

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Hollywood Bowl has cheered “exceptional” trading through the summer school holidays on the back of surging demand for staycation activities.

The company, which runs 64 ten-pin bowling and entertainment sites, said its performance has been “well ahead” of expectations since reopening in May following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

It highlighted a particularly strong August as sales jumped 50% to £20.1 million, compared with pre-pandemic levels from the same month in 2019.

“I am delighted at the pace and strength of our recovery since reopening,” said Stephen Burns, chief executive of Hollywood Bowl Group.

Coronavirus – Tue Jun 16, 2020
The company said it has seen 29% like-for-like growth since reopening venues in May (Steve Parsons/PA)

“It has been fantastic to welcome our customers back in record numbers, and to see families and friends enjoying their time in our bowling and mini-golf centres once again.”

Hollywood Bowl said it has seen like-for-like growth of 29% for the period from May 17 to September 30, against the same period in 2019.

It said the rise in revenues has helped guide it to positive earnings and cash generation each month since reopening its venues.

The company said it had a “strong” balance sheet with £30 million in cash at the end of last month after continuing to keep a lid on costs.

However, the firm said it has also invested to complete three centre refurbishments since May.

Construction has also started for its Hollywood Bowl at Resorts World Birmingham and a new Puttstars site – the company’s mini-golf format – in Harrow.

Mr Burns added: “We took a number of actions to ensure that the group was in as strong as possible position to reopen, and our balance sheet strength is allowing us to accelerate our proven strategy of delivering growth from investing in new and existing centres and customer-led innovation.”

Shares in the company were 0.4% higher at 244p in early trading.

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