The Oakman Group, comprised of Oakman Inns and Ashmore Inns, has significantly outperformed the market in the past few months, seeing its highest ever sales quarter in Q1 2020.

For the 13 weeks to 4 October, total like-for-like sales across the group were up 40.6% compared to last year to £15.1m.

For its 23 Oakman Inns sites, sales were up 25.4% to £13.3m (up £2.7m on last year), whilst its four Ashmore Inns sites contributed £1.3m to total sales.

By revenue stream, its food sales saw the biggest uplift (up 45.5%), with wet sales increasing 12.7%.

Room sales across the estate were down 52.3%.

“Oakman has delivered the highest sales quarter in our history and in doing so have made considerable progress to restoring the damage done to our Balance Sheet during lockdown,” said executive chairman Peter Borg-Neal.

“These numbers are clearly excellent and bear close scrutiny. Even if you discard the benefit of the VAT cut and the EOTHO Government funding there is still underlying double-digit LFL growth – what is more this is not just LFL but comparable growth as none of the 23 sites have benefitted from significant capital expenditure in the last eighteen months.”

He continued: “We would like to commend the Government for the excellent sector support provided through the business rates holiday, the VAT reduction, Job Retention Scheme and Eat Out To Help Out. All have been strategically intelligent and executed efficiently.

“Less welcome has been the unfair and illogical restrictions placed on our industry and we hope that greater Parliamentary scrutiny will lead to wiser decision making going forward. In particular we would like to see the removal of the current curfew arrangement which, remarkably, manages to damage both public health and the economy.

“I would also appeal to the Government to recognise that further support is required for the night-time economy who have suffered disproportionately to date through no fault of their own.”