Brighton Pier Group chairman Luke Johnson has announced he will increase his holding in the investment company, which has managed the Grade II listed Brighton Palace pier since 2016, from 23.7 percent to 27 percent.
The highly regarded businessman, who recently bolstered his attraction portfolio with the acquisition of Paradise Island Adventure Golf, will increase his stake by exercising almost £1m of existing warrants.
The investment follows a 1.3 percent year-on-year increase in full-year revenue for BPG to £31.7m, despite what Johnson hailed as “testing times for the leisure and hospitality industries.”
Though the company reported underlying profit for the period declined nine percent to £3.2m,BPG outlined that this was mainly attributable to adverse weather conditions during August and September 2017, as well as extensive winter renovations and acquisition costs.
The group will open Rushden Lakes golf course and the Fez Club Putney later this year,in addition to the Paradise Island takeover, which Johnson stated will add“a new income and profit stream,with further growth potential.”
The demonstration of confidence in the positive future of Brighton follows a request by Johnson in June for BPG to assume management of the £46.2m i360, after Brighton Council delayed £6m of loan repayments until 2024.
“Brighton Pier Group PLC would be willing to take on a management contract,” said Johnson at the time. “We could make savings and efficiencies across the two businesses.”
The company added that, discounting one-off acquisition and closure costs, group profit for FY17/18 rose 21 percent to £2.3m.