Goals Soccer shares fall after profit warning

Shares of East Kilbride-based Goals Soccer Centres plc fell about 15% on Monday after it said “outturn for 2018 is disappointing” and it now expects full year group adjusted profit for 2018 of between £4.3 million to £4.5 million — below analysts’ expectations.

Goals, which has 50 sites including four in California, gave the news in a trading update for the financial year ending December 31, 2018, in advance of the company’s final results on March 12, 2019.

Underlying sales for the year rose 0.5% to £32.4 million.

“In the U.S., our South Gate club continues to perform well and is now our best performing site globally.,” said Goals.

“Growth in trading at the new clubs in Pomona and Rancho is slower than initially anticipated, although we are now materially growing game count through changes in management and our marketing strategy.

“These clubs will however take additional time to reach their full potential.

“This has resulted in non-recurring start-up losses of £0.8m, of which Goals’ share is £0.4m.

“Our fourth U.S. club in Covina opened in December 2018 and initial trading is encouraging …

“Goals anticipates that exceptional costs for the year ended 31 December 2018 will be approximately £5.5m comprising of non-cash asset impairments of £4.6m and restructuring costs of £0.9m.

“The non-cash impairments primarily relate to reductions in the carrying value of 3 clubs and the previously announced sale of our Beckenham North club to Crystal Palace Football Club for use in a non-competing activity.”

Goals CEO Andy Anson said: “The investment strategy that is being executed is improving the underlying performance of the clubs, which is demonstrated in our H2 sales results.

“Frustratingly, a number of cost overruns have impacted 2018 profits. It is disappointing that well-conceived initiatives to drive revenue have been delivered at the expense of margin. 

“However, we have already taken action to tighten cost control, and processes and procedures are now in place to augment and support margin management.

“The benefits of these changes will be felt in the current year, as will the effect of the new management team.

We will continue to turn Goals around to deliver the performance that the management know the company can achieve.”