Price freeze helps sales surge at bowling group Ten Entertainment


freeze in admission prices has helped bowling business Ten Entertainment sail past pre-pandemic performance with a more than doubling of profits.

The Bedford-based firm posted sales of £63.2 million in the first half of 2022, up 53% on 2019 levels, while pre-tax profits rose 121% to £15.7 million. The company was boosted by its earlier decision to secure 90% of its energy at 2020 prices up until 2024, which has helped it absorb cost inflation in wages and food prices.

Ten Entertainment boss Graham Blackwell told the Standard: “The affordability is key – the proposition is compelling with our customers and the promotions we run allow people to govern their spend.

“We can swallow those price increases – it’s not key to driving the profitability of the business.”

Despite fears of a recession the business has plans for continued expansion, with a new site opening in Walsall next week and a further three to open in the next six months.

“I think it would be foolish not to be concerned with what’s coming [but] we’re always looking at making acquisitions and growing the business,” Blackwell said.

“If something bigger comes along, we’ll be in a good position to take the benefit of it.”

Roberta Ciaccia, analyst at wealth management firm Investec, said Ten Entertainment “had a really good performance in summer, which was unexpected as many thought with the heatwave lots of people wouldn’t be interested in going to arcades or bowling alleys, but in the end this didn’t prove to be true.

“2023 is going to be trickier, however, because we’ve been out of the pandemic for quite a while and spending power is not what it used to be.”

Ten Entertainment shares rose 6% to 200p this morning.

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