Goals Soccer Centres halts sales decline

Mark Jones, CEO at Goals Soccer Centres

East Kilbride-based Goals Soccer Centres said profit before tax was £3.5 million in the six months to June 30 compared to £4.5 million in the first half of 2015 but that its rate of like-for-like sales decline has slowed significantly.

Goals said like-for-like sales were down 2% in the first half of 2016 compared to a drop of 11.4% in the second half of 2015 and fall of 1.2% in the first half of 2015.

For the first 11 weeks of this year’s second half, there has been a return to like-for-like sales growth.

Goals said overall group sales for the first six months of the year were slightly down from £17.1 million to £17 million and that no dividend is proposed for the current period.

In May, Goals appointed former Rank Group casinos executive Mark Jones as its new chief executive officer following a turbulent year in which its share price lost more than half of its value.

And Inter Milan chief executive Michael Bolingbroke joined the firm as senior independent non-executive director in June.

Goals chairman Nick Basing said: “Whilst the financial results were below potential, they were anticipated and I am encouraged that our initial performance improvement plan has resulted in positive like-for-like sales for the last 11 weeks.

“We have invested more capital in rejuvenating our core estate in the last three months than over the last 10 years. I am confident that this strategy will underpin future organic growth.

“There remains much still to do, but I am pleased to say that we are further ahead in the steps to recovery at this stage than we thought we would be. So far so good.”