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Ten Entertainment strikes strong new year trading despite Omicron

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Bowling operator Ten Entertainment reported its second biggest trading week over the new year as it hailed “strong” demand from families despite pandemic fears.

Shares in the company lifted on Thursday morning after it told investors that it expects profits for last year to be at “the top end of expectations”.

Chief executive officer Graham Blackwell told the PA news agency that it had kept more momentum than expected after the end of the summer season.

“We had predicted a strong summer because of staycations but were most pleased by how that demand kept up a really good pace for the rest of the year,” he said.

“It meant we still had a good December despite worries about Omicron and that’s clearly shown from the fact we had our second strongest week ever between Christmas and new year.

“Bookings for January are looking good as well so we are looking ahead with plenty of optimism.”

Mr Blackwell added that the leisure firm had not seen a significant impact from Covid absences among staff, highlighting that its large number of part-time workers has helped provide flexibility.

The company reported that sales since May to the end of 2021 have grown by 32.4% compared with the same period in 2019.

It added that it has seen 29% like-for-like growth over the year and reported total group sales of £67 million despite closures for more than a third of the year.

Mr Blackwell added: “It reflects the strength of our business, our people and our improved customer experience that Ten Entertainment Group has delivered record trading months since May and returned to full-year profitability in 2021 despite closure in the first half of the year.

“I am grateful for the hard work of all our teams, suppliers and partners who have contributed to this very strong recovery, and I thank our customers for their continued support and loyalty.

“We are well set to deliver continued growth and success in 2022.”

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