Express & Star

Goals Soccer Centres sees shares plummet amid falling profits

Goals Soccer Centres has seen revenues grow as it begins the roll-out of its refurbishment programme – but warned that growth in the second half of the year would be slower than initially expected.

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Goals Soccer Centre in Rowley Regis

The five-a-side pitch operator – which has centres at Rowley Regis and Willenhall – said investment in its centres had helped return like-for-like sales to growth, but the announcement sent shares tumbling.

Like-for-likes were 2.5 per cent ahead once the effect of closing three clubs for refurbishment was taken into account, with group sales for the six months to June 30 clocking in at £17.4 million.

The firm also saw a 25.7 per cent fall in pre-tax profit to £2.6 million.

Clubs which have seen five or more pitches refurbished saw sales rise by 5.1 per cent, but others which have not yet hit that level of investment saw sales remain static.

Goals warned that it now expects sales in the second half of the year to grow – but at a slower rate than initially expected because of some clubs "underperforming", and fears over consumer spending.

Shares fell more than 10 per cent in early trading as investors digested the report.

Goals chief executive Mark Jones said: "The operational actions to improve the customer proposition have been executed well delivering enhanced experience.

"Customers have responded positively by increasing their dwell time, driving ancillary spend in areas such as food and beverage."

He added: "We have begun our journey in turning round the business and there remains considerable opportunity to deliver continued improved performance and returns from the business."

In July Goals entered into a joint venture with CFG, the group which owns football clubs including Manchester City and New York City, to accelerate the growth of the Goals brand in North America.

The announcement came as Goals called time on merger talks with rival Powerleague.