Arc Inspirations sets sights on London

Arc Inspirations has said that it will open its first site in London next year.

Arc Inspirations has said that it will open its first site in London next year, which will be one of four openings in 2024 for the northern bar operator. 

Continuing the company’s growth plans as it seeks to reach 50 sites by 2030, the business will expand into four new cities next year, with launches in London, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Cardiff.

The news comes as the Martin Wolstencroft-led business revealed its latest trading results, which it describes as 'resilient'. 

It has seen a sales growth of 7.5% to £40.8m, with adjusted EBITDA for the year standing at £3.84m – for the period to 26 March 2023.

The results were elevated by the performance of two sites that were opened in the previous financial year – Manahatta in Temple Street, Birmingham, and BOX in Deansgate Manchester. BOX Deansgate posted a company record gross sales week in late 2022, turning over more than £200,000.

Challenging environments

Company EBITDA for the year was lower than the previous period, which Arc says reflects challenging cost environments, investment in the team and the absence of several post-Covid benefits provided to hospitality businesses, which totalled approximately £2m in FY22. These benefits included the VAT rate reduction on food sales, business rates relief and government grants.

"The 12-month period to 26 March 2023 was a relentlessly challenging one for the hospitality and leisure industry," says Wolstencroft. "In this context, our performance reflects that of a well-managed, well-controlled, robust and resilient business. Our premium brands proposition appeals strongly to customers and our three distinct brands are differentiated and can exist close to each other in major cities, without suffering brand or trading dilution.

"There were a number of highlights in the financial year including a strong Easter, good volumes during the men's FIFA World Cup and excellent performances from our new sites, while our investment in outside areas has increased site capacities and made venues more attractive to consumers. 

"Despite the significant challenges to our financial performance in the year, the business is confident that it has outperformed many of its competitors in what has clearly been a very difficult year for the sector."

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