Arc Inspirations experienced a 42% uplift in sales between July and November this year, versus 2019, and says it is on track to post record revenue and profit in FY2022.

Recent guidance around the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has seen a decline in large corporate bookings, but sales for smaller groups are stronger than expected, it said.

Ahead of its accounts being published on Companies House, the bar group announced revenue was £9.9m for the full year to 31 March 2021, compared to £30.1m in 2020.

On an underlying profit basis (EBITDA) it posted losses of £1.3m versus a profit of £2.9m the prior year.

Martin Wolstencroft, co-founder and CEO, Arc Inspirations, said that while they were “not the numbers we wanted, or expected at the start of the period”, they represented a phenomenal effort by its team to maximise trade when it could, and to optimise efficiencies and cost controls wherever possible, while keeping its team and guests safe.

He said the business had used the lockdown period to accelerate the transformation of its brands – on the high street and online – to digitalise its customer experience, strengthen its tech and operational platform and build a pipeline of new sites.

The acceleration of its change programme included the introduction of a central sales force, driving 30% of revenues through pre-booked sales, significant additions to its people development, training and wellbeing programmes, and a review of its supply chain and re-engineering of its F&B offer.

“Since the year-end and the easing of restrictions in the summer, we have broken all sales records, and returned to site growth, opening two flagship sites,” added Wolstencroft.

“Despite the current challenges, we expect to post a record year in terms of both revenue and profit in FY2022 and are extremely confident about the long-term future prospects of our business.”

The business put its expansion plans on hold during the financial period, but since the year-end has returned to its growth strategy of establishing clusters of sites in city centre locations.

Since the year-end it has opened two flagship sites: a 7,000sq ft Manahatta, in Temple Street, Birmingham and 8,000sq ft BOX, in Deansgate, Manchester, in October and November, respectively. It has also added two further sites to its pipeline, which are due to open next year.