Deltic plans more bar and club investment after profits rise

Big Night Out by Kay Photography

Leading late-night bar and club operator The Deltic Group has reported record profits and growth in turnover including a 175% jump in pre-booked sales.

Pre-tax profits for the year to February 27 were up over 16% to £4.3m alongside earnings (EBITDA) up 16.8% to £13.4m. After £9m of investment in refurbishments over the 12 months, turnover was up 8%.

Pre-booked sales soared by 175% across the estate thanks to the clubs’ sales teams making the most of customer databases for targeted communications based on historic engagement or expressed interest. Further investment was also made in expanding sales teams across a number of venues.

In its results announcement today, the group said its trading performance continued to improve and there would be further improvements after the ongoing refurbishment programme.

Over the next two months, Deltic is revamping two sites into new Pryzm nightclubs in Birmingham and Nottingham and plans further investments in Nottingham, Bournemouth and Colchester in Essex.

To capture earlier evening trade, it is successfully transforming some of the eight former Chicago Rock Café sites acquired in November 2014 into its Bar&Beyond brand which operates seven days a week from 5pm, with a street food-style offering.

After the first Bar&Beyond sites in Chelmsford in Essex and Stevenage in Hertfordshire, further openings are planned for later this year.

By the end of 2015, over half of Deltic’s estate had undergone major refurbishments, with all venues refreshed through investment in new fixtures and fittings.

The group’s strategy is based on the belief that a major factor in the performance of the sector is the under-invested nature of late-night properties and that a key facet of the company’s future improved performance will arise from re-investment in the estate.

Its plans are supported by new banking facilities: a £10m term loan and £5m revolving credit facility.

Chief executive Peter Marks said: “It is very heartening to report these excellent results which reflect the hard work, capital investment and imagination of everyone at Deltic.

‘‘We now have the ideal platform to be the dominant late-night player in each of our 58 clubs and bars. Our ability to respond to customer trends, backed by our financial firepower, gives me confidence in Deltic Group making further progress over the coming year.”

Deltic now achieves 6.9m visits a year to its 58 clubs and bars after investment in the quality of its service and venue experience. There were strong performances throughout the UK from towns as diverse as Aberdeen, Leeds, Bristol and Exeter to Bournemouth, Romford and St Albans.

The group has increased investment in music-led entertainment, delivering popular acts for both week-day student nights and weekends. Over the last year, venues benefited by welcoming a host of celebrity DJs and running monthly events, comedy nights and the successful Smirnoff-sponsored Big Night Out (pictured).

The Big Night Out takes place once a month at venues across the country. Clubs are transformed into something spectacular, either with Ibiza-style lasers or circus gymnasts.

Deltic said much of its success was due to the high quality of its employees and its commitment to developing staff. In the last year, the group employed over 90 full-time starters of which 26 were promoted into management positions in roles including front of house, bar management, marketing and finance.

Each newly appointed manager is given a tailored career progression programme rotating across the various departments of the business. The company also has a strong track record in developing management internally, with many senior positions filled with people who started off on the club floor – just as Peter Marks did after leaving university.

For many years Deltic has supported local communities in the areas in which it operates through its partnership with Echo Trust. Since it was established in 2002, the Echo Trust has raised more than £2.5m. Of this, Deltic venues have raised over £70,000 in the last year, 100% of which has been donated to local children’s charities.

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