Eclectic, the listed bar group, would look at groups for acquisitions as it sees the potential for consolidation in the late-night market, chief executive Reuben Harley has told M&C Report.

The group secured four sites in the year to 29 June and a further two since. Harley said the number for the current financial year “may be less, may be more”.

“I wouldn’t stick to a number, but then I wouldn’t rule out the opportunity of smaller groups at the same time.”

Highlighting the expansion plans of Eclectic’s peers such as Novus, Be At One and the New Inventive Leisure, Harley said: “The reality is there’s lots of businesses out there that are expanding.

“There’s always going to be an opportunity somewhere along the lines to pair companies up together.”

He said Eclectic was “looking at several opportunities” at present.

Harley reiterated his view that the focus would be “quality over quantity”. “We are not precious on any of the brands,” he added. “It’s just what’s right for that area.”

In terms of geography, Harley pointed to the success of seaside locations such as Brighton, where it operates Dirty Blonde and Coalition, and Bournemouth, where it has Sakura.

“We could look at other places like that, but generally we are talking about the bigger cities.” The main focus would be large cities, with Leeds mooted; the next openings will be Lola Lo sites in Liverpool and Sheffield.

Eclectic reported a 10% rise in full-year pre-tax profits to £1m for the 52 weeks to 29 June, on turnover up 11.7% to £23m. Harley pointed to Lola in Manchester, which opened in December, as a new outlet that has performed “particularly well”.

“In the main we’re happy with the performance,” he added.