Goals hopes new CEO will ‘unlock inherent value’

East Kilbride-based Goals Soccer Centres said on Tuesday that “unlocking the potential inherent value” within its UK estate will be the number one priority for incoming CEO Andy Anson when he joins the firm in late April.

Goals said 2017 sales fell 1.4% to £33.1 million.

Underlying profit before tax slipped to £6.2 million from £7.7 million.

“The closure of the clubhouses at Ruislip, Beckenham, Glasgow South, Leeds and Wembley during refurbishment impacted like-for-like sales …” said the company.

Goals Soccer Centres interim chairman Michael Bolingbroke said: “During 2017 we made significant progress towards achieving our strategic plan with investments in the UK making an encouraging start and improving sales.

“There remains work to do to unlock the potential inherent value within the UK estate and this will be the number one priority for the incoming CEO.

“Together with CFG, our JV partner, we are pleased with the pace of growth in the US and we are already California’s leading 5 and 7-a-side pitch operator.

“We look forward to the arrival of Andy Anson as CEO in late April who will look to execute our existing strategic plan whilst continuing to build on the strong foundations which have already been put in place.

“We remain confident that we will deliver improved returns for Goals shareholders.”

On current trading, Goals said: “For the 8 weeks to 24 February trading has been encouraging with like-for like sales up by 4.0%, benefitting from the investments last year.

“In common with many businesses Goals was impacted by the challenging weather conditions in weeks 9 and 10 and consequently like-for like sales for the first 10 weeks of our year to 10 March were -3.0%.

“It is anticipated that with more normal weather patterns sales will revert to positive territory.  

“Goals is a cash generative business and it is clear that where major investments have been made to more than five arenas at a club positive sales trends follow.

“We will only utilise existing cash resources to make further investments in the current year.”