Profits up at Living Ventures as it continues expansion


The Alchemist LeedsProfits and revenue are up at bar and restaurant operator Living Ventures Group as it prepares to open a site for its cocktail bar concept The Alchemist in London.

The Cheshire-based company has announced that pre-tax profits, after interest, rose by 315% to £1.55million in the 53 weeks to March 31, 2013, after total revenue grew by 23% to £47.3million. Earnings (EBITDA) were up 39% to £4.1million.

Since April, the business – which operates 32 bars and restaurants, mainly in Manchester and the north-west – has continued to trade well, including a 43% rise in sales over the Christmas period.

The Christmas growth mostly came from six new sites opened over the past year, but the company added that like-for-like sales were up 9%, with “impressive” like-for-like performances at sites such as Gusto at Liverpool’s Albert Dock and Australasia in Manchester.

After opening two sites for The Alchemist bar in Manchester, followed by another in Leeds (pictured), it is due to open a fourth site for the concept in the City of London near Aldgate in May. More openings are planned for later in the year.

Tim Bacon, chief executive of Living Ventures Group, said: “Our results speak for themselves. We are delighted with the progress of the business and are confident of making further progress in the current year.

“The group is developing really well. We believe that we now have the constituent parts for an offer that can be applied in other cities other than Manchester. Our focus will be to continue to build a highly cash-generative and profitable business.”

The group invested £4.1million in capital expenditure in the year to March 31, opening four new sites and completing the refurbishment of The Grill on the Market, part of its Blackhouse business, in London’s Smithfield.

Since the year end, a further three new sites have been opened: Manchester House and Artisan in Manchester and Smugglers Cove in Liverpool.

After initially growing in Manchester, where it now has 10 restaurants, the group has been expanding into Liverpool and Leeds, with plans to grow into a £100million company by recreating its success in other cities including London.

In 2013, the group entered into partnership with Hill Capital to develop its New World Trading Company, backed by a £2.7million investment to help expand the business that includes the Oast House in Manchester and The Botanist in Leeds and Alderley Edge, Cheshire.


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