Lowlander is a “scalable” operating concept for Eclectic and gives the company a fourth format as it looks to make further acquisitions in and outside London, chief executive Reuben Harley has told M&C Report.
The company this morning announced the acquisition of Lowlander in London’s Covent Garden, along with the Lowlander brand. The concept specialises in Belgium beers and has a sizeable food mix of between 30% and 40%, although Harley said “predominately it’s still a bar”.
“It’s a typical West End London site that we were keen to get into.
”We see the opportunities for further sites in or outside of London, which gives us the opportunity to look at different spaces at any one time. We really like the business, it’s fantastic.”
Lowlander joins the 10-strong Lola Lo brand, plus Sakura and Dirty Blonde, its cocktail format that opens this week in Brighton, among the formats identified for growth within the 33-strong Eclectic estate.
“You’ve got four options, whether they are towards bar late night or daytime, where we can cross over on customer. We can do more of them.”
Regarding numbers, Harley said: “We haven’t put a marker in the sand about how many. As usual we would look at each site and take the opportunity as they come through.”
He reiterated plans to open two or three sites a year and said Lowlander is “scalable”.
Harley said he didn’t believe at present that existing sites would be converted to Lowlander.
Eclectic this morning reported a 13% rise in pre-adjusted EBITDA to £1.7m in the six months to December 2013, in its first results announcement since its flotation on AIM.
In addition, the group announced that it has increased its banking facility from £1.5m to £5m for new acquisitions. Sales grew 9.6% to £11.4m during the period in which it acquired Coalition in Brighton, Coyote Wild in Derby and a new lease in Deansgate Locks in Manchester; the latter two sites have re-opened as Lola Los.