Hospitality group’s turnover up despite 2020 lockdown

Hospitality group’s turnover up despite 2020 lockdown

Accounts for one of the biggest hospitality groups in Northern Ireland have shown its off-licence turnover leapt by 14% to £24.7m in 2020, while its pub and restaurant arm increased sales increased by £1m despite lockdowns.

Golf Holdings owns off-licence brand Winemark, which boasts 84 outlets around Northern Ireland, and Wine Inns, whose venue include the Chelsea Wine Bar, Cutter’s Wharf and the Four Winds in Belfast.

Wine Inns saw its sales rise by 7% to £13.4m during 2020 from 2019’s £12.5m, with pre-tax profits up from £709,000 to £752,000 in the same period.

The increase comes despite the bulk of its venues being closed up until December 31, 2020, due to Covid-19.

Economist John Simpson told the Belfast Telegraph: “Whatever they did, it managed to beat the market and my impression is that the drinks trade has by and large managed to fight the pandemic. All credit to Wine Inns.

“They’re not the only company to do well, but you must give them credit for the positive achievement for their turnover and profitability. All we heard from hospitality were complaints and losses and this is an example for which this is an exception.”

Along with many hospitality businesses Wine inns took part in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August 2020.

That saw the Government subsidise 50% of the cost of meals and with 4.5m meals claimed for in Northern Ireland alone.

Golf Holdings’ Winemark the Winemerchants Ltd saw turnover jump from £21.6m in 2019 to £24.7m in 2020 — a rise of over 14% — with a jump in trade boosted by lockdowns forces on bars.