London-based bar group Darwin & Wallace lost almost a quarter of its usual revenue as a result of the first lockdown, contributing to a £2m dip in its year-on-year sales.

According to its latest accounts on Companies House, sales at the Imbiba-backed brand were £12,026,321 in 2020, compared to £14,067,045 the previous year.

Site EBITDA was £787,444, down from £2,122,140 in 2019, and the business has said the “vast majority” of these losses were a “direct result” of the lockdown.

During the period of closure, which lasted until the end of June 2020 when the business began the phased reopening of sites, all staff were put on furlough, operating contracts were reviewed with many put on hold, and directors took a 20% pay cut.

Strong landlord relationships minimalised the business’ rental costs for the March quarter and into its new financial year, it was granted a CIBLS loan and capital repayments with private banking company Coutts were deferred along with loan stock interest.

At the period end the company was financed by long term bank loans of £3,720,000 with annual financial covenant targets that measure gross leverage and debt servicing to adjust EBITDA.

Debt was refinanced and the company raised further shareholder funding through a rights issue and shareholders’ loan, resulting in its ability to prepare a detailed business plan including cash flow projections to see it through to October 2021.