Goals Soccer shares fall after weather hits sales

Shares of East Kilbride-based Goals Soccer Centres fell about 6% after it said ahead of its AGM that bad weather in March reduced its sales by £500,000.

Goals also said it plans to invest a further £3 million in the summer of 2018 to refurbish 90 pitches at 18 of its clubs.

The firm said former Walt Disney, Channel 4 and Manchester United plc executive Andy Anson joined Goals as chief executive on April 23 and that his main focus will be “to continue to implement the strategic plan and unlock the underlying value within the UK estate.”

Goals Soccer Centres interim chairman Michael Bolingbroke told the AGM: 2017 was an important year for rebuilding and refocusing the company, following the strategy put in place in mid-2016.

“Our arena modernisation programme is well advanced with 53% of our estate now upgraded reducing our average pitch age from seven years before the upgrade works commenced to a current average age of 4.1 years and we continue to develop our business in the US.

“This investment strategy remains focused around delivering better performance with a clear recent positive trend established in football sales.

“This momentum has continued with underlying like-for like sales, excluding the impact of snow, for the first 18 weeks of this year, increasing by 2.3%.

“However, Goals was impacted by the challenging UK weather conditions in March, which reduced sales by £0.5 million, resulting in overall like for like sales of – 1.9% for the period.

“During the summer of 2018, we plan to invest a further £3 million to refurbish 90 pitches at the 18 clubs that have four or less upgraded arenas, with the aim of reversing the sales decline experienced at those clubs. Post this refurbishment, 73% of the Goals estate will have been upgraded reducing the average pitch age to 3.2 years

“In conjunction with our JV partner City Football Group, we continue to make positive progress in the US.

“Our third club opened at Rancho Cucamonga in Los Angeles in January 2018, with construction of our fourth US club in Covina, Los Angeles, beginning earlier this week.

“Further sites continue to be in negotiation and there remains a strong pipeline of potential future sites.

“Andy Anson, who previously held senior roles at The Walt Disney Company, Channel 4 in the UK, and at Manchester United plc, joined the company as chief executive on 23 April 2018.

“Andy’s main focus will be to continue to implement the strategic plan and unlock the underlying value within the UK estate.”