Goals shares fall amid ‘lower end’ profit forecast

Shares of East Kilbride-based Goals Soccer Centres fell 8% after it said in a trading update that it anticipates profits for 2017 will be “broadly in line with the lower end of market expectations.”

Goals said that as previously announced CEO Mark Jones will leave the business on January 26 — and it said a search for a new CEO is at an “advanced stage.”

In the meantime, Bill Gow will assume responsibilities as interim CEO.

Goals said total sales increased by 0.5% to £33.7 million.

Like for like sales declined 0.5%, exacerbated by the disruption of closure due to investment in upgrades.

“In the UK, the specific trading patterns outlined in the summer have broadly continued in H2:  major arena investment is delivering good sales growth in a large group of sites, whilst minor refurbishment has reduced the rate of sales decline,” said Goals.

“Sites that have yet to receive investment have continued to perform poorly.

“Just over half of our estate has benefited from investment.

“A further £3 million of capital will be selectively targeted to further modernise the estate during 2018 to deliver the compelling proposition which customers clearly seek. 

“The joint venture in North America with City Football Group, formed in July 2017, is performing and progressing well.

“Our third club in North America opened last week at Rancho Cucamonga in Los Angeles and we expect to commence construction of our fourth club during Q2 2018.

“Overall, the board anticipates profits for 2017 will be broadly in line with the lower end of market expectations.” 

Goals chairman Nick Basing said: “Our recovery plan remains ‘work in progress’ with 2017 being a period of substantial investment in the UK and significant improvement achieved where major investments have been made.  

“We are excited by the progress and the future of our strategic joint venture with City Football Group in North America.

“With our new developments in North America and further investment in our UK business, we are confident that we can deliver improved returns, over time, for Goals shareholders.”