Goals Soccer Centres warns profits hit by rising costs

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Goals Soccer Centres has warned that profits will be lower after a revamp of its offering resulted in higher costs.

The operator of 5-a-side football centres now expects group adjusted profit for 2018 to be between £4.3 million and £4.5 million.

It comes as exceptional costs for the year to December 31 looked set to reach £5.5 million. This includes higher staffing costs as well as a premium coffee service and improved children’s party offering.

Slower than anticipated growth in the US, where the company has four sites, also contributed to what Goals said was a “disappointing” 2018 performance.

Underlying sales meanwhile rose 0.5% to £32.4 million in the same period.

In 2019, profit for Goals UK is set to be £600,000 lower due to economic and political uncertainty, while slower-than-anticipated growth in the US means the group also expects a smaller profit from that market this year.

Shares in the company fell 11.8% on Monday morning following the announcement.

Chief executive Andy Anson said new cost controls had been implemented to mitigate the higher costs.

“Frustratingly, a number of cost overruns have impacted 2018 profits,” he said. “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.”