Escape Hunt plc, the global entertainment network offering unique “escape the room” adventures to the public and corporate clients, today announces the opening of its first UK owner-operated site in Bristol. This site is the first of three to open this month, alongside Birmingham and Leeds, with a further five locations to open in the coming months. All of these venues are located in prime sites in the centre of town with high footfall and in close proximity to potential large corporate customers.
As previously announced in the operational update on 19 December, securing these premium sites and obtaining planning permission has contributed to delays in opening the initial UK sites and their associated revenues but the company has a strong pipeline of sites.
In addition, in the week before Christmas, the Company acquired an escape room business in Bournemouth from a single site competitor for a nominal sum. This is a well-invested site with four games rooms which had only recently opened.
Since admission to AIM the Company embarked on a detailed strategic review of the marketplace, following which significant effort was expended in enhancing every aspect of the business with the objective of differentiating itself from its competitors. Management has made many design and operational changes to the original model culminating in a rebranding of the business. The resulting quality and differentiation of these initiatives has opened up the possibility for exciting partnerships with content providers and franchise opportunities.
Escape Hunt also embarked upon a thorough review of its game portfolio and decided to further optimise its offering by developing higher quality and scaleable games alongside the rebranding. This will enable the company to better take advantage of the significant market opportunity, and to consolidate its position as the premium escape room operator for both corporate customers and consumers. The Board carefully considered the consequential delays to the opening programme resulting from this strategic work and determined that the shift in the site opening plan to be well worthwhile and believes it will lead to enhanced longer term benefits.
The Company will announce its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2017 in early April.
Richard Harpham, Escape Hunt Chief Executive Officer, said:
“We are delighted to have opened our first UK site and are excited about the further openings in the coming months. I am proud of the team for delivering such a good quality site and the learnings from our first opening will help our UK roll out and benefit the international franchise network.”
Escape Hunt plc
Richard Harpham 07584 173958
Alistair Rae 07736 883934
Peel Hunt LLP
Adrian Trimmings, George Sellar 020 7418 8900
Stockdale Securities Ltd
Daniel Harris, Hanan Lee 020 7601 6100
About Escape Hunt
The Escape Hunt group is a global provider of live “escape the room” experiences. The first branch was opened in Bangkok, Thailand in 2013 and the business has grown rapidly, becoming a global network with mainly franchised outlets. The company was admitted to AIM in May 2017 with the strategy of focussing on rolling out owner operated branches, whilst continuing the opening of franchise sites.