Revolution Bars urges UK government to lift COVID-19 restrictions early after vaccine success

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Revolution Bars Group PLC (LON:RBG) said it expects to have all of its 66 sites reopened by 17 May and is ready to bounce back from a tough six months.

Twenty sites reopened yesterday it said, the first time any of its bars have traded since the start of 2021 due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

Demand is huge for all venues it added, with tickets for events at sites selling out within nine minutes while other activities such as cocktail masterclasses are fully booked through July.

Almost 12,000 people have booked for the week of 17 May, it added.

That is when the UK government roadmap says pubs are allowed to serve people indoors again rather than just outdoors as of yesterday.

Rob Pitcher, chief executive, said: “With the vaccination programme running ahead of the government’s expectation and all the COVID-19 related health data exceeding even the most optimistic of forecasts.

“I look forward to all restrictions on personal freedoms falling away on the 21st of June and urge the Prime Minister to follow the data, not dates, and bring our ‘national day of freedom’ forward in line with the vastly better outcomes that have been achieved.”

“Our target customers, due to our focus on young adult age groups, are at lower risk from COVID health issues,” he added.

Revolution said it also expects the marketplace to be less competitive as numerous pubs and venues have shut permanently.

The bar owner itself has shut six sites using a CVA Voluntary Arrangements (CVA) process over the past few months, but says going forward it has two new concepts ready to trial as soon conditions allow.

In the six months to 26 December, Revolution saw sales plummet to £21.6mln (£81.2mln) with the group posting a loss of £17.7mln (£1.6mln).

Total liquidity available is £40.3mln, which it added is sufficient to take it through the current government roadmap and allow for downside scenarios.

Back in business

FinnCap added that  Revolution Bars is back in business.

“Opening bookings are encouraging and we expect a good summer driven by the government’s vaccines programme, leading into September when universities reopen and then the key run-in to Christmas,” said the broker.

Assuming no further virus-related setbacks 45p is the new target price, finnCap said.

“RBG’s share price has more than tripled since its April 2020 low point, but it still has a long way to recover, in our view. It’s highly cash generative and the stock could rerate quickly once evidence of sustained recovery becomes evident. “

Shares rose 3% to 31.3p.

— adds share price, broker comment —

 

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