Nightcap FY sales soar 29%

Bar investment group Nightcap saw revenue rise by nearly a third in the year to 2 July 2023, boosted by pre-booked events.

For the 52 weeks to 2 July 2023, Nightcap’s revenue grew by 29% to £46.4 million (US$58.2m), up from £35.9m (US$45m), all the while the company has added 15 new bars to its portfolio; rising from 31 to 46.

Over the summer, it purchased UK cocktail bar chain Dirty Martini, which continued the groups’ efforts in looking towards Millennial and Gen Z customers, who are ‘favouring late-night bars where they can have a great time, drink high-quality drinks and enjoy an experience-led, memorable, safe and fun night out in unique venues’.

Sarah Willingham, CEO of Nightcap, said 48% of the year’s revenue came from pre-sold or pre-booked events and parties, making digital and technology a key investment area for the group.

Of the newly-released financial figures, she commented: “Unaudited group revenue was £14.7 million [US$18.5m] for the 13 weeks ended 1 October 2023 (‘Q1 FY2024’) resulting in a 42.7% increase compared to group revenue of £10.3 million [US$13m] for the equivalent period in FY2023.

“Whilst trading in October 2023 has continued on the same trend as Q1 FY2024, we are focusing on the important Christmas period. Christmas bookings and enquiries across the whole estate including Dirty Martini are in line with the strong 2022 Christmas period.

“At Nightcap we believe that everyone deserves a great night out and with this belief at our core, we are fast becoming one of the UK’s leading bar groups.’’

Factors such as train strikes and the cost-of-living crisis have caused uncertainty and hindered the group from reaching its ‘full trading potential’.

As such, Willingham said Nightcap will slow down its roll-out programme – “focussing on allowing Dirty Martini to settle into the group, maximising returns from existing business and newly opened sites and driving synergies and efficiencies across the enlarged group”.

The revenue increase only includes three weeks of Dirty Martini trading (as the bar chain was only acquired on 9 June), and Nightcap is confident sales will rise even further as the cocktail bar and its new sites settle in.

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Author: Rupert Hohwieler