The Oakman Group continues to make excellent progress on several fronts, highlighted by revenues for the 21 weeks to Sunday 5th December, the group has delivered sales of just over £26m. Versus the last comparable data, which is for 2019, this represents like-for-like sales growth of 16.3% and total growth of 34.1%.
Oakman does not expect to be negatively impacted by the recently introduced ‘Plan B’ restrictions and is forecasting year-end sales in excess of £64m.
Dermot King, CEO, said: “I am delighted with our progress to date, and I want to thank everyone in the Oakman family for their extraordinary efforts over the last eight months since re-opening. During this time, we have seen our business thrive against the most difficult challenges. This success hasn’t come from nowhere: it is an outcome of our huge focus on people. I often explain to people that we are not a pub company that develops people – we are a people development company that operates pubs.
“Our training is led by our in-house trainers who we call ‘Ninjas’ and we now have 213 of them with another 268 in the pipeline awaiting sign-off. Through our Ninjas we deliver an incredibly high level of training and support to our people.”
King added: “We are not unduly concerned by the Plan B restrictions. Our pubs are very safe places due to the modern ventilation systems we have installed, and our super-fast broadband is ideal for those choosing to work from home. Although we have seen some corporate bookings cancelled, they are being rapidly replaced by smaller, family bookings and I expect Christmas trading to be very strong.”
Since the start of the pandemic, Oakman has added nine new sites consisting of six Seafood Pubs, The Grand Junction at Bulbourne near Tring, The Woburn (in Woburn) and, the most recently opened, The Rose in Wokingham. These sites took the total number from 27 to 36.
The Rose has traded extremely well since opening in October and is averaging in excess of £40k net per week.
Oakman is on-site in Buckingham where they are restoring the traditional name to The Grand Junction Arms, in the marketplace, which will open next Spring.
Further new sites will open in 2022 with planning permission secured for Watford, Epsom and Ludlow. The company has also acquired a freehold site in Harpenden and has applied for planning permission to develop a three-storey pub, to be named Kingston House, featuring a spectacular roof terrace.
Negotiations are at an advanced stage for a site in Gerrards Cross and for further locations in Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire and Lancashire.
Work will also start next year on a major project, Bush Hall in Old Hatfield, that will complete in 2023.
Oakman plans to have 70 sites open by June 2026.
Executive Chairman, Peter Borg-Neal, said: “We have by far the best pipeline we have ever had and are looking forward to the future with great confidence. All our new sites are performing ahead of expectation. I am particularly pleased with The Rose in Wokingham. I think it is one of the best developments we have ever done and its stellar performance since opening is proof that the good people of Wokingham agree.
“However, it is not just about the new sites. Our core estate continues to deliver big numbers with reassuring regularity. To see sites such as The Akeman in Tring and The Kings Arms in Berkhamsted, that are over ten years old, deliver sales in excess of £50k during November is not only heart-warming but also evidence of the longevity of our business.”
The Oakman Group has launched their first FCA regulated fund raise since becoming a plc, which allows Oakman shares to be available to the general public – in particular, customers of the group.
Steve Kenee, Chief Investment Officer, has said: “Although none of us would claim that 2021 was an easy year, it is one that we will end much stronger than when we started. To put this into context, we’ve added nine new sites to the estate, consistently traded ahead of the market and welcomed almost 600 new investors to the Oakman family.
“While we are immensely proud of all our achievements, it’s perhaps the love and support that we have received from our new shareholders that have been the most overwhelming. This encouragement and backing sits at the heart of our vision of being owned by our staff and customers and is the reason we have become a fully-fledged plc which allows us to finally give all our customers the opportunity to own a share in their own local. To this end, I am delighted to announce that our first full public share offering will open on Friday 17th December and that you can reserve your place from today.”
As well as buying the shares as an investment, subscribers to the issue will also be able to access discounts of up to 50% off food, generous deals on hotel bookings and enjoy privileges such as invitations to new openings and major sporting events. In addition, Oakman Group plc shareholders will have exclusive access to the Oakman Group Development Club IFISA which will deliver generous tax-free interest well ahead of most comparable investment products.