Eclectic buys London bar after earnings rise

lowlanderEclectic Bar Group has today announced a rise in sales and earnings as it acquires a new food-led concept intended for roll-out.

The company, which operates 21 bars and clubs, reported a 13% increase in earnings (EBITDA before adjusting items) to £1.7million on the back of a 9.6% lift in sales to £11.4million for the half year to December 2013.

It also announced it has exchanged contracts to acquire Lowlander Grand Cafe bar and brasserie (pictured) in Covent Garden, London, which it plans to roll out nationally “over time” as a food-led brand.

Lowlander joins Eclectic’s portfolio of concepts which include tiki-themed Lola Lo, Japanese-based Sakura and its New York City-inspired Dirty Blonde which makes its debut in Brighton this week.

After raising £15milllion last year through flotation on the Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM), the group has also increased its credit facility with Barclays Bank from £1.5million to £5million to give it the capacity for further new acquisitions.

Chief executive Reuben Harley said: “This has been a very exciting period for Eclectic and we are delighted with the successful listing and the support of our new shareholders. It has also been a busy time within the business with four new sites taken on over the last six months as well as a major refurbishment in Brighton.”

He said that Lola Lo which opened in Deansgate Locks, Manchester, in December has “outperformed expectations”, with a 10th Lola Lo due to open in Derby in April.

Lowlander in Drury Lane has been acquired for £850,000 from Newman Bars and Chalice Bars, headed by Ray MyClymont, Jamie Wilson and Aubrey Johnson as well as Jim Fallon, who is non-executive chairman of Eclectic.

Specialising in Belgian beers, Lowlander was opened in 2001. Annual EBITDA based on trading to date is estimated to be more than £230,000.

Reuben said: “We are also pleased to have acquired the Lowlander business which gives us a brand able to operate throughout the day, led by a quality food and drink offer.

“We have identified site opportunities across the UK which would suit this type of business building on past experience in restaurants.”

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