Beast from the East hits Goals Soccer Centres sales
The 'Beast from the East' snow storm that hit Britain last month hit like-for-like sales at football pitch operator Goals Soccer Centres as players decided to stay indoors.
Goals said like-for-like sales for the 10 weeks to March 10 were down 3%, although it anticipated a return to positive territory “with more normal weather patterns”.
Sales for the eight weeks to February 24, just before the freezing Siberian weather descended, were up 4%.
Goals also released full year results on Tuesday, with underlying pre-tax profits fell to £4.8m from £6.5m. Total sales fell 1.4% to £33.1m.
The company, which issued a profits warning in January after a fall in sales, has been trying to refurbish its UK estate and expand its presence in the US.
It said investment and upgrading of the UK estate was “delivering improvement and remains ongoing”, with 248 of its 460 pitches fully modernised and “delivering good returns” at venues where five or have been upgraded.
The company is also in a joint venture in the US with Manchester City owner City Football Group (CFG) in an effort to tap into the lucrative junior market there.
Goals is awaiting the arrival of new chief executive Andy Anson next month after the departure of Mark Jones to head up food chain Carluccio's.
Interim chairman Michael Bolingbroke said: "During 2017 we made significant progress towards achieving our strategic plan with investments in the UK making an encouraging start and improving sales.”
“There remains work to do to unlock the potential inherent value within the UK estate and this will be the number one priority for the incoming CEO. Together with CFG, our JV partner, we are pleased with the pace of growth in the US and we are already California's leading 5 and 7-a-side pitch operator.”