Goals Soccer suffers share drubbing

Goals Soccer Centres, the East Kilbride-based five-a-side football operator, saw its shares hammered after it warned of full-year results 'materially below' market projections.

The group has 49 sites, including three in California. Picture: Andrew Worthington

The group, which has 49 sites, including three in California, in the US, said trading had been battered by the extreme weather conditions during March and April.

It warned that the fall-out had led to a further “substantial knock-on impact” on trading throughout the second quarter of 2018. This is due to amateur 11-a-side games deferred from the first quarter to dates in the following three months when teams would normally be playing five-a-side.

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The result has been a decline in underlying like-for-like sales for the first half of 3 per cent to £16.1 million, the firm noted in a trading update.

However, the group pointed to “continued good progress” in growing and refurbishing its UK facilities with 260 of its 460 individual arenas now “fully modernised”.

In the US, its South Gate club is said to be performing well, while Pomona and Rancho, which opened in January, are progressing and “showing growth”. A fourth club, at Covina, Los Angeles, is now under construction and work is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Goals told investors: “While we expect [the second half] to benefit from the investment programme that has been undertaken, the results for the full year are expected to be materially below market expectations, due to the impacts of the extreme weather in H1.”

Chief executive Andy Anson said: “The investment strategy that is being executed is improving the underlying performance of the clubs.

“However, frustratingly, the first half was impacted by the snow and its significant after-effects, which masks the performance of the business where positive trends are clear. With the improving underlying performance, we expect a better second half.”

Shares were down by more than 25 per cent in early trading.