Pre-close trading statement
Escape Hunt proves experiential leisure is a bright spot on the high street
Escape Hunt plc (AIM: ESC), a global leader in the high growth escape rooms sector, is pleased to announce a pre-close trading update ahead of reporting its results for the financial year to 31 December 2018 (“FY18”).
In respect of the Company’s eight owner-operated sites opened in FY18, the Board is pleased with their early performance, with sales in line and EBITDA slightly ahead of Board expectations.
For the Group overall, the Board confirms that the full year Group results for FY18 are expected to be in line with Board expectations.
· Three owner-operated sites opened in March 2018 continue their strong progress
· Five new owner-operated sites which opened in the last quarter of the year are showing positive early signs, with both sales and EBITDA wellahead of Board expectations
· Excellent trading performance over the Christmas period
· First four owner-operated sites opened have achieved #1 rating on TripAdvisor in “Fun & Games” in respective cities, with the remaining four sites quickly moving up the rankings
· 38 rooms across all of the Group’s owner-operated sites were open by the end of the year and a further 15 rooms are due to open in these sites throughout the first half of FY2019
· The first Doctor Who themed escape room opened post year-end in the Bristol site, with a high level of pre-bookings recorded, boding well for the progressive roll-out of these rooms
The Board is pleased with these results and believes that, alongside the customer rankings, they are validating the Company’s business model and strategy. As referenced in the FY18 interim results, the Board continues to assimilate and analyse all the information from the owner-operated sites to shape its roll-out strategy for the year. However, in the meantime the Company will aim to continue this strong performance and develop a pipeline of good sites. Net cash position was £2.6m at 31 December 2018.
Richard Harpham, Escape Hunt Chief Executive Officer, said:
“We are delighted with the inaugural performance of our owner-operated sites, and especially over the Christmas period, which provides further evidence that experiential leisure is a bright spot on the high street as consumers seek out experiences. The strong pre-bookings for Doctor Who themed escape games also demonstrates the appeal of Escape Hunt’s IP strategy.”
Escape Hunt plc
Richard Harpham (Chief Executive Officer) +44 (0) 7584 173958
Alistair Rae (Chief Financial Officer) +44 (0) 7736 883934
Mustapha Omar (Commercial Director) +44 (0) 7767 697596
Stockdale Securities Ltd
Daniel Harris, David Coaten Fiona Conroy (Corporate Broking) +44 (0) 20 7601 6100
Peel Hunt LLP
George Sellar, Nicole McDougall +44 (0) 20 7418 8900
Yellow Jersey PR Limited
Harriet Jackson +44 (0) 7544275882
Henry Wilkinson +44 (0) 7951402336
About Escape Hunt plc
Escape Hunt is a global leader in providing live escape-the-room experiences with a network of owner-operated sites in the UK and a global network of franchised outlets in six continents. The Company was re-admitted to AIM in May 2017 and has a strategy of creating high quality premium games and experiences, which incorporates branded IP content.