Urban Pubs & Bars lost out on £2.5m in sales in the first month of the March lockdown, and incurred a significant shortfall in profit due to its inability to mitigate costs immediately at the point of closure.

According to recent accounts filed on Companies House, the London-based bar group made pre-tax profits of £890,404 in the year to 26 April 2020, from overall sales of £18.2m.

Whilst trade at its year end was disrupted by lockdown, the report, which was approved prior to the Prime Ministers roadmap announcement earlier this week, said it remains in a strong financial position, but noted the third lockdown presents a material uncertainty over its ability to trade and meet its covenants going forward.

As of the reporting date, the business had a bank facility of £5m, of which £3.5m had been drawn, and the company had negotiated revised covenant tests with its bank to focus on liquidity testing.

The company said it had received support from the majority of its landlords through the crisis, and made use of the furlough scheme and additional Government support schemes, though it added these measures “in no way account for the significant loss of trade during 2020 and into the current calendar year”.

“The directors have a view that The City and West End will take a year to return to pre-covid levels of trade, however through careful management of costs these businesses are expected to bounce back strongly in 2022,” the accounts said. “All sites have seen a significant investment over the past 12 months and so they are expected to see accelerated growth when the market returns.”