Belfast pub brings in £80k a week for Revolution chain
by Margaret Canning
Revolution Bars opened Revolucion de Cuba in Belfast in August
UK bar chain Revolution Bars Group plc has said its new venture in Belfast in the former Cafe Vaudeville achieved the highest sales of any of its new bars in the last two years.
The chain, which reopened the city centre location as a Cuban-themed venue after buying it over, revealed that annual profits fell by almost a third, and cautioned over cooling autumn sales.
The nightclub and bar group – currently at the centre of a takeover tussle – said pre-tax profits fell 29% to £3.6m for the 12 months to July 1 after sales growth slowed and costs soared.
The Ashton-under-Lyne-based firm, which owns more than 60 Revolution and Revolucion de Cuba high street bars, said like-for-like sales rose by 1.5% in the year, but added that trading since its year-end has been hit by a “disappointing” September, with first quarter sales growth easing back to 0.3%.
But it said its first Northern Ireland property at Arthur Street had performed well.
“Belfast Revolucion de Cuba has achieved the highest sales levels of all venues opened in the last two years and has averaged £80,000 per week over the first nine full weeks of trading,” it said.
However, the business said it had no details on any future openings here, despite earlier expectations.
A statement from the company’s preliminary results for the year ending July 2017 said: “Three further Revolutions are scheduled to open in Solihull, Inverness and Putney before Christmas and two new Revolucion de Cubas will open in the second half.
“The board is confident in the current strategy, the underlying financial strength of the group, its brands and strong customer propositions, which have underpinned three years of consistent like-for-like growth.”
Cafe Vaudeville owner Pat McCormack put it on the market last year for £3.5m.
It’s understood Revolution Bars Group agreed to pay £2.5m for it.
Revolution issued a profit warning in May, which sent shares tumbling and sparked takeover interest in the group.
Slug And Lettuce owner Stonegate said in August it had struck an agreement to acquire Revolution Bars in a £101.5m deal, but shortly after rival Deltic Group said that it was also considering a bid.
Revolution rejected the approach from Deltic – one of Britain’s biggest nightclub operators – to merge the two firms over “significant concerns regarding both value and deliverability”.
Deltic is still considering whether to make a cash offer for Revolution to rival Stonegate’s bid of 203p a share. It must make its intentions clear by 5pm on October 10 under City takeover rules.