Ten Entertainment set to grow when lockdown ends

Tenpin bowling centre operator Ten Entertainment Group saw a 56.9 per cent fall in sales last year to £36.3 million as it was hit by the coronavirus crisis.

The Tenpin at Castlegate Way, Dudley, before the pandemic
The Tenpin at Castlegate Way, Dudley, before the pandemic

Over the year centres were shut for 49 per cent of the available time due to lockdowns and other restrictions.

The group, which has 46 family entertainment centres including at Dudley, Stafford and Telford, says it is positioned for strong growth when they can reopen after the lockdown.

Nick Basing, interim executive chairman, said: "Our leadership team have ensured that the business has been maintained in first-class shape for when we are able to reopen fully. We have used this extraordinarily challenging year to strengthen our underlying business model."

Newly-appointed chief executive Graham Blackwell said: "We expect there to be significant pent-up demand when our business reopens. Our highly popular competitive socialising model, operating in safe, spacious and well-invested centres, will be extremely attractive to people in a post vaccine environment. We have secured strong liquidity headroom well into 2022 and anticipate a rapid return to profitability and previous sales levels once the Government eases trading restrictions."

In the year to December 27, before the first lockdown there was 9.6 percent like-for-like growth in 11 weeks.

Reopening in mid-August was encouraging, with August and September delivering 77 per cent of last year's sales despite operating at only 50 per cent capacity.

The group board, which expects to report a loss for the full year, is satisfied that consumer demand for family entertainment remains strong and the underlying fundamentals of the business model remain in place.

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