Brighton Palace Pier has recorded the best week in its 122-year history, as hot weather, pent-up demand and plentiful staycationers pushed summer sales up 44 percent on 2019.
Brighton Pier Group has reported a record week for the East Sussex landmark, as pent-up demand from domestic tourists and pleasure seekers drove revenue up 14 percent across the entire summer season.
Detailing its financial performance for the 13 weeks to 26 September, the group revealed sales hit £15.9m, a figure 44 percent higher than for the same period in 2019, with August Bank Holiday crowds delivering the best week in the pier’s 122-year history.
“The sales over this important 13-week trading period have been very strong across all divisions,” said CEO Anne Ackord.
“It is also good to be able to report a new record, with the final bank holiday week of this summer being the first time in the Pier’s history that it has achieved gross sales in excess of £1m over a single week.”
Like-for-like sales at Brighton Palace Pier were up 47 percent on the previous year, while the group’s golf sites – including the recently purchased Lightwater Valley – saw revenue increase 119 percent on 2020, and 30 percent on 2019. Bar sales rose 36 percent on 2019.
The high demand for leisure and entertainment this year was evident from the attraction’s first day reopen after the third lockdown, with 6,000 people flocking to visit the pier’s outdoor rides and takeaway restaurants on 12 April.
Alongside increased demand, the pier also benefited from a £5m payout from its business interruption insurance policy, helping drive full year earnings £2m above market predictions, and in turn helping the group’s share price increase upwards of 26 percent.
Whilst analysts will point to the insurance award being ‘a one-off benefit’ and that revenues have been supported by rates relief and a reduction in VAT, the BPG figures will send a crucial message to government that continued support for the hospitality sector is absolutely vital to operations like the Palace Pier if they are to sustain their recovery beyond the time when Brits are less “thirsty, hungry and fun-starved”.
BPG has clearly done its job on delivering entertainment to its customers, it’s down to the government to do ‘everything it can’ to ensure that the economic landscape remains as stable as possible for the business to reach full recovery.