Liberation Group, a privately owned pub operator and brewing Group, has reported a record performance for the business in the year ended 27 January 2024.
Total Group revenues were +22.5% at £147.0m versus the same period FY23. The Group’s UK managed pubs produced a very strong performance, with +8.0% LFL growth, on the back of excellent contributions from all categories, with LFL sales across drink at +8.6%, food +6.2% and accommodation +11.6%. The growth also reflected the contribution of the pubs acquired from Cirrus Inns in December 2022 which have been fully integrated into the Butcombe Managed estate.
Accommodation has ramped up in its importance for the Group and now drives a substantial proportion of food and drink sales with 42 of the Group’s 78 managed pubs offering accommodation. The Group’s Channel Island sites continued to perform very well.
The Channel Island drinks businesses in Jersey and Guernsey improved +3% on the same period last year and continues to see the reward from years of long held customer relationships while also being able to target new opportunities in the on and off trade.
Jonathan Lawson (pictured), CEO, commented: “These are really pleasing numbers and my starting place should be a massive thank you to our incredible teams who demonstrate real passion for delivering a quality experience for our customers on a daily basis. It is particularly satisfying to see the way that mature parts of our business continue to grow such as CI drinks, tenancy and Butcombe, whilst also seeing new elements coming through so strongly, such as accommodation.
“We should remind ourselves that in 2016 we only had 10 rooms and now we have well over 400, with the potential to achieve 700 in the existing estate. We are increasingly seeing accommodation as a substantial lever for our overall managed business and see events and occasions as a fourth revenue stream in its own right along with drink, food and accommodation.
“The headwinds on cost have eased and the outlook is better than the one in our rear-view mirror and the improvement in consumer confidence is noted and welcomed. Our performance at Christmas was testament to the hard work from our teams, but also a reflection of the long-term trend in consumers valuing experiences more than stuff. We need to build on this and continue to provide amazing experiences for our customers.”