Shareholders in the Hollywood Bowl Group have been treated to yet another special dividend, as the company continues to go from strength to strength. To say the group is bowled over would be an understatement: revenues have reached an all-time high.
Hollywood Bowl’s full-year financials were happy reading for the company’s investors upon release last week: capping a satisfying year of growth in which the brand opened one of the largest bowling entertainment centres in the country.
Revenue for the 12 months to September 30 was up 7.8 per cent to a record-high of £129.9m, whilst pre-deduction profit stood at £27.6m: a hefty climb of 15 per cent on the 2018 bottom line.
The stalwart performance allowed Hollywood Bowl Group to reward its investors with an increased dividend payout up some 12 per cent on last year – alongside another separate special dividend payment.
“As a result of this strong financial and operational performance, we are delighted to announce a special dividend for the third consecutive year, which will result in a total of £47.7m being returned to shareholders since IPO,” said HBG chief executive Stephen Burns.
“I am delighted to report another year of strong profitable and cash generative growth, demonstrating the consistent delivery of our proven, customer-led strategy.” 2019 marked the addition of Hollywood Bowl’s 60th site, with the opening of a brand new complex at the Intu Lakeside shopping centre in Essex.
HBG have said that the new Lakeside operation is the largest bowling complex to have been constructed anywhere in the UK for the past ten years.
As for its new financial year, HBG isn’t expecting any bumps in the road: with trading expecting to be in line with prior expectations.
2020 will also see the company dip its toe into the mini-golf sector, with a trial of three new sites in the north England operating under the company’s Puttstars brand. Back on the bowling front, and the HBG board is eying plans for yet further expansion: with six new centres in the offing by 2023 at the latest.
But consumer satisfaction in the here-and-now was what Burns focused on in his statement accompanying the company’s latest numbers, with a claim that the brand had “achieved excellent customer feedback following the ongoing investment in our centres, further innovation of our industry-leading customer proposition and the continued development of our team members.”