Hollywood Bowl profits jump amid refurbishment programme

Hollywood Bowl has reported surging profits on the back of a major refurbishment programme.

Pre-tax profits for the half-year to March jumped 12.5% to £16.8 million, as the entertainment group refurbished sites and rebranded some AMF bowling venues under the Hollywood Bowl brand.

Shares in the company rose after it delivered a 5.3% increase in revenue for the period, to £67 million.

Sales jumped as customers spent more on each trip to the bowling sites, with the average spend per game rising 6.4% to £9.79, compared with the same period last year.

Drink spend per game increased by 8.5%, amid an investment in IT systems, while food spend increased by 3.9% following the roll-out of new menus.

The firm was also buoyed by the opening of two new centres, at Intu’s Watford and Lakeside sites, taking its total estate to 60.

It also completed refurbishments at its outlets in High Wycombe and Sheffield, and rebranded AMF and Bowlplex sites in Wigan and Bristol respectively.

Plans to complete between seven and 10 refurbishments and rebrands over the year are “on track”, it said.

The company said it does not expect Brexit to have an impact on its financial performance during the year.

Chief executive Stephen Burns said: “We are delighted at the strong start to the year, which puts us on track to deliver our expectations for the full year.

“We continue to invest in the quality of our estate, driving returns through our new centre openings and active refurbishment programme.

“There remains significant scope for further sustainable growth through the continued investment in the quality of our centres, our new centre pipeline as well as the introduction of new technology and initiatives that enhance our already industry-leading customer proposition.”

Analysts at JP Morgan said: “Hollywood Bowl have announced a strong set of results this morning.

“The company’s ability to generate superior returns and consistent like-for-like growth above other forms of leisure activities, both through the new centre roll-out strategy and continuous upgrading of the existing estate, keeps us positive on the company’s prospects.”

Shares in the company rose by 3.5% to 233.9p in early trading.

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