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Sundial Group turnover falls 6 per cent following sale of Barnett Hill venue

Sale of Surrey property saw turnover at Sundial Group fall by 6 per cent to £8.3m in 2016

Pictured: Sundial Group MD Tim Chudley

The sale of Barnett Hill Conference Centre saw turnover at Sundial Group fall by 6 per cent to £8.3 million in 2016.

The sale of the Surrey property to Alexander Hotels for an undisclosed sum in October 2016 also led to pre-tax profit at Sundial rising year-on-year from £112k to £1.56m in 2016.
According to accounts filed at Companies House, pre-tax profit on discontinued operations for the year ended 31 December 2016 was £1.5m, while profit on continuing operations was £43k.

Writing in the directors report, Sundial MD Tim Chudley said: “Trading conditions continued to be extremely challenging during the financial year with margins coming under pressure from a combination of aggressive competitive pricing and an oversupply of meetings space in the UK market.”

Chudley said that the drop in turnover was as a result of the sale of Barnett Hill, which has left Sundial with two hotels in its portfolio; Highgate House in Northamptonshire and Woodside in Warwickshire

He added: “The group continued to focus on growing its venue finding and Teamscapes experiential learning businesses whilst at the same time building up its core streams of meetings and events income at its remaining venues. Profit relating to the disposal was a factor in profit before taxation increasing to £1,558,493 (2015: £111,712).”

He said that despite the tough trading conditions the group continued to control its working capital and cash resources well, and that the company intends to sustain its capital investment.

Chudley said: “The directors believe that their strategy to grow the Teamscapes and SOS businesses will spread the risk of continuing oversupply in the marketplace and also that a focus on the niche of dedicated residential meetings facilities will differentiate the group from the commoditised, branded corporate hotel offerings and support a drive to acquire added value business.

Chudley also revealed that the group would be investing £750k in its remaining two properties over the coming year, making improvements and upgrades to meeting rooms, bedrooms and public spaces.

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