New World Trading Company (NWTC) said it expects to open between five and eight sites annually from 2022.

In its latest accounts for the year ended 31 March 2021, the operator said the pipeline to the end of 2021 and beyond “remains very strong with many opportunities opening up following the pandemic”.

The company reported “severely disrupted” trading for the year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, subsequent national and local lockdowns and operational restrictions, opening only one site, The Botanist in Lincoln, during that time.

However, it said business was “generally buoyant” when venues were permitted to open and added the new Lincoln opening had been trading well and “above expectations”.

Since year-end, NWTC has launched further sites with The Club House in Plymouth and The Furnace in Sheffield taking the business to 31 venues in total.

The trading report said the national lockdowns in March 2020, November 2020 and January 2021 had placed “considerable and unforeseen pressure on the group’s liquidity”.

Turnover for the year ended 31 March 2021 was £17.1m, compared to £55.3m for 2020. Loss after tax amounted to £4.9m, compared to a loss of £4.3m in 2020.

During the period the business renegotiated its bank facilities and received further shareholder support in December 2020.

“Since the business was allowed to resume trade from April 2021, it has traded somewhat ahead of expectations,” the report stated.