Goals scores ‘marginal’ first-half sales increase

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GOALS Soccer Centres, the East Kilbride-based five-a-side football pitch operator, yesterday unveiled a “marginal” rise in first-half like-for-like sales – but warned its interim profits would fail to match last year’s level due to spending on “operational and organisational reviews”.

The Aim-quoted company announced in January it was slowing down its expansion plans in order to pay down its debt.

In a short trading update ahead of its interim results in September, Goals yesterday said it had reduced its debt by more than 10 per cent in the past 12 months to £48.5 million.

Despite bad weather in January and March and the challenging “consumer environment”, the firm still expects to hit the City’s full-year profit forecasts.

Wayne Brown, an analyst at house broker Canaccord Genuity, said: “Management are only six months into their new strategy and it is only in the second half that we are likely to see the benefits arising from the group’s many new initiatives.

“The first of these have been a near doubling of the participation levels in the Powerade 7s tournament providing Goals with a meaningful uplift in the number of new customers to target. The brand partnership with TalkSport is delivering a sustained increase in new player enquiries and the second-half is likely to deliver more commercial relationships.”