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01 Jun 2020 | 10:46

Hollywood Bowl ready to reopen after H1 profit falls

(Sharecast News) - Hollywood Bowl said it was prepared to reopen with customers using alternate lanes as the company reported a 6.7% fall in first-half profit. The bowling alley operator's pretax profit for the six months to the end of March fell to £15.3m from £16.4m a year earlier as revenue rose 3.3% to £69.2m. The figures are calculated under the IAS17 accounting standard.

Hollywood Bowl closed its sites on 20 March in line with government guidance as the UK economy began to shut down. Measures to make bowling safe when sites reopen will include only using alternate lanes, queue control measures, booking for busy periods and more space between bar and diner tables.

The company said it had cut the salaries of all staff who are working by 20% with further reductions if centres stay closed past August. It has put more than 1.900 employees, almost 99% of the total, into the government's furlough programme.

Stephen Burns, Hollywood Bowl's chief executive, said: "Since the estate shutdown, we have taken a number of mitigating actions to preserve cash, further strengthen our balance sheet and to ensure we are as well positioned as we can be for when it is possible to reopen. Our priority is to make sure that, once we reopen, our teams and customers can enjoy our unique leisure experience once again."

Hollywood Bowl raised £10.5m by placing shares with investors in April and agreed debt covenant waivers until the first half of 2021. The company also said in April it would not pay an interim dividend.

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