Tenpin Bowling owner scores a strike on surging sales


he company behind Tenpin Bowling has said sales have surged against pre-pandemic levels as it claims bowling remains an “affordable treat” for people throughout the cost-of-living crisis.

Ten Entertainment, which owns 48 bowling and family entertainment centres across the UK, said it made £63 million in the first half of the year, an increase of 46% from the same period 2019.

Sales were driven up with the average spend of visitors increasing by 7.4% as bowlers splashed out more money on food, drink and other games while at the alleys.

Footfall also grew by more than a third despite the hot summer typically driving people away from indoor activities, the company said.

The group, which employs around 1,500 staff, posted £18.3 million in pre-tax profits after swinging to a loss in 2021 when it was forced to shut its centres during Covid lockdowns.

It said it has become more profitable despite significant inflation pushing up its operating costs, including wages going up by 9% since 2019.

The entertainment firm also acknowledged the impact that rising living costs could have on consumers who are increasingly seeing their wages squeezed against higher prices.

Ten Entrainment said the “value” of its venues has allowed the firm to “buck the trend” of many other hospitality and leisure firms that have seen sales fall since 2019.

The business therefore has stuck to its full-year profit outlook and said it expects modest sales growth in 2023.

Graham Blackwell, chief executive of Ten Entertainment, said: “Our sales growth is, and remains, very strong against 2019 and we have consolidated and built upon the gains we made last year.

“We now have net cash and have resumed our dividend payments while maintaining our focus on investing in the customer experience to continue our growth.

“We have bucked the trend of many other businesses in hospitality and leisure and our value for money customer proposition is well positioned to continue to deliver strong returns for our shareholders.”

Shares in Ten Entertainment were up by more than 5% on Wednesday morning.

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