Half-year profits fall

Goals turnaround ‘taking longer than expected’

Nick Basing and Ferran Soriano at the unveiling of the Manchester City venture

Football five-a-side company Goals Soccer Centres is taking longer than expected to achieve its turnaround but says there early signs of growth.

Underlying profit before tax fell to £2.8 million in the first six months to the end of June against £3.8m last time.

Like-for-like sales for the period increased by 1.6% after they fell 2% last year.

The closure of the clubhouses at Ruislip, Beckenham and Glasgow South during refurbishment impacted like-for-like sales by 0.9%. Adjusted like-for-like sales are therefore  up 2.5%.

Operating costs increased by £1m due to investment in club and central resources to improve levels of support for strategic initiatives and well publicised cost headwinds, including the cost of hiring a new leadership team; advertising & sponsorship; investment to improve standards; and statutory increases in living wage and business rates.

Launch costs of £200,000 related to the launch of a second US centre at Pomona in Los Angeles in February.

Nick Basing, chairman, said: “This has been a crucial phase in rebuilding the company to secure a profitable future.

“With our investment in both the Arena upgrade programme and Clubhouse 2020 modernisation, the Board is confident that we will deliver improved returns over time for shareholders.

“The Joint Venture [unveiled in July] with CFG, the global football group who own Manchester City and New York City Football Clubs amongst others, is a transformational deal.

“It allows Goals to profitably develop the nascent North American market, and at the same time invest the cash generated in the UK on developing our proposition in our domestic market.” 

Mark Jones, CEO, said: “Our initiatives to improve performance have returned like-for-like sales to positive territory with growth of 2.5% in H1.

“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.

“We are pleased to have opened our second US site in Pomona and are progressing well with our third site, Rancho Cucamonga. We have a fourth in our pipeline. We are excited about the opportunities to grow our US business with CFG.

“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.” ​

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