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UK Leisure Sector - Q4 2017


Click here to download the UK Leisure Sector - Q4 2017


Happy New Year to all.

The Autumn budget brought about significant change for the pub market at the end of 2017. Beer duty was to be frozen; changing from the initial plan which was to increase in line with RPI. Instead a new duty band will be created, targeting drinks with ABV's of 6.7% to 7.5%.

The effectiveness of the Licensing Act 2003 was also debated within the House of Lords; it recommended that planning committees, not local authority licensing committees, should take ownership for licencing.

An extension for another year of £1,000 business rates relief to pubs with a Rateable Value of under £100,000 was given until March 2019. This has been actioned in support of smaller public houses. The change to indexation of business rates from RPI to CPI will also be broughtforward to take place in 2018, with property valuations happening every three years, not five, from 2025.

Notably two public house transactions occurred within this quarter; C&C Group and PropriumCapital Partners acquired Admiral Taverns, and Distinct Group was acquired by The Laine Pub Company, now totalling 60 units in London and Brighton.

The market for 'competitive socialising' has gained further traction; Ei Group has launched theirfirst pub 'Escape Room' at The Hope in Farringdon, London. In addition, Brighton Pier Group are planning more acquisitions to benefit from this trend, following their purchase of Lethington Leisure (Paradise Island Adventures Golf) for £10.5 million.

There has been an increase in consumers choosing premium drinks, mixers and craft beers. This has mainly been by young adults (18-34 year olds) with 54% stating they would now choose higher quality drinks.

Britain's favourite spirit is apparently gin; over the last year £729 million worth has been sold in bars and restaurants. However, as stated by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, rum sales are expected to exceed this after the festive season figures are reported.


UK Leisure Sector Q4 2017 Highlights

October 2017 -

Restaurants: D&D London turnover increased 16% to £125m (£107.8m 2016).

Pubs: Mixed Blessings F&B trading as 'Oh You Pretty Thing' went into administration and sold for a rumoured £20,000. Units were located at the T rafford Centre in Manchester, Lakeside in Essex, Metro Centre in Gateshead as well as Trinity Kitchen in Leeds, and most recently a concession within John L ewis, Oxford Street, London.

Leisure: All Star Lanes announced plans for a new 16,910 sq ft bowling venue opening in March 2018 situated in Westfield's new £600m development. The company aims to open more sites across the UK b y 2020.

November 2017 -

Pubs: Liberation Group acquired eight SA Brains Pubs, adding to the Butcombe Estate.

Leisure: Forest Holidays, who operates 571 luxury self catering wood cabins, was acquired by Phoenix Equity Partners for £110m. The Forestry Commission and LDC private equity house, retain a minority stake.

Pubs: The Autumn Budget announced a freeze in beer duty.

Pubs: Deltic Group purchased 1.5m shares acquiring a 3% stak e in Revolution Bars Group, after shareholders rejected a takeover bid by Stonegate Pub Company.

December 2017 -

Restaurants: 30 Ed's Easy Diners in a pre-pack administration agreement were acquired by Giraffe for £9.9m.

Leisure: Cineworld has agreed to acquire Regal Entertainment Group at a market capitalisation of $3.6bn (£2.7bn) with an acquisition price of $23.00 per share. This will gain Cineworld presence within the North American cin ema market, increasing to 9,542 screens.

Hotels: Fattal Hotels Group and Pandox AB has acquired the Jurys Inn hotel chain at a reported £800m.

Pubs: Admiral Taverns is acquired by C&C Group and Proprium Capital Partners, following the acquisition by Admiral of 17 pubs from Star Pubs & Bars (Heineken).

Restaurants: Giggling Squid grew in turnover by 56% to £18.4m from £11.8m in 2016.

Pubs: The Laine Pub Company has acquired Distinct Group, comprising of four leasehold London centric public houses.


Contact Details:

Elysia Wilson-Gunn
Senior Associate
T: 020 7280 4747
M: 07810 541 579


Graeme Bunn
Managing Director
T: 020 7280 4740
M: 07776 208085