Over the last twelve months, Escape Hunt has dramatically increased scale and proven the economics of its business, allowing it to target positive cash generation. All of the company’s owner-operated sites traded profitably post period end.
Companies: Escape Hunt Plc
Consumer demand for Escape Hunt’s experiential leisure sites has rebounded strongly since reopening. At the same time, the company continues to gain scale with acquisitions outperforming and site rollouts on track to exceed targets. Such solid trading and operational progress improve the company’s long-term profit outlook.
What a difference a year makes - 12 months ago, the focus, quite understandably, was on the course of the pandemic and the lifting of the Lockdown (1) measures. For investors, it was the sustainability of the rally in markets seen since March 2020. Today, while we are still thinking about the lifting of lockdown measures, we are also concerned about two “old favourites” from previous decades. Inflation and the parlous state of public finances. The BoE has said that although CPI inflation rose to
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Escape Hunt (ESC) released 2020 results this morning. The company made strong strategic progress despite a difficult market. Escape Hunt almost doubled its portfolio of owner-operated sites, introduced successful digital and remote-play products and restructured its franchise business for scalable growth. As a result, we see the potential for run-rate Adjusted EBITDA to reach £0.5m based on the company’s current estate and franchises. Going forward, we expect site additions and potential new fra
The Budget offered a clear picture of the state of the economy. Put simply, the economy will be 3% smaller in three years’ time than it would have been without the impact of the pandemic. However, it is forecast to return to pre-pandemic levels by mid-2022, six months earlier than previously thought. The OBR forecasts that the UK economy will grow by 4.1% in 2021, (lower than the 5.5% outlined in November 2020). It has set its GDP forecasts in 2022, 2023 and 2024 at 7.3%, 1.7% and 1.6%. Positive
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Escape Hunt (ESC) provided an in line trading update with EBITDA in 2020 better than in 2019, despite the impact of the pandemic. The company has ample resources to continue investing in its UK sites with cash outflows tightly controlled. The company remains optimistic that it should have sufficient scale and site maturity to reach positive cash flow after trading conditions normalise. As part of its expansion, Escape Hunt announced that it had exchanged contracts on the acquisition of its Frenc
tinyBuild— a leading video games publisher and developer with global operations. tinyBuild's strategic focus is in creating longlasting IP by partnering with video games developers, establishing a stable platform on which to build multi-game and multimedia franchises is to join AIM. Offer details TBC. Due mid-March. AMTE Power, a developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion battery cells for specialist markets, announced its intention to seek admission to trading on AIM. Admission is expected to ta
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Escape Hunt (ESC) has conditionally agreed to acquire its French master franchise partner, BGP Escape (BGP). Together with UK sites currently in build, ESC expects BGP to add enough scale for the group to reach positive EBITDA when conditions normalise and new sites have matured. The acquisition is attractively priced at only 1x EBITDA before earnout payments.
We highlighted last month the (first) Santa Rally arrived early (unlike some other festive gifts). The second Claus(e) relief rally was prompted by the agreement between the European Commission and the UK on its future cooperation with the EU. Markets also reacted positively to the $900bn stimulus package agreed in the US. While the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 indices rose by 1.6% and 1.7% respectively on the first trading day after the holiday and the FTSE 100 has recovered 28% from its low point in
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Escape Hunt’s digital and remote offerings have experienced stronger than expected demand, particularly from corporates restricted from physical events, including multi-nationals looking to bring teams together in different parts of the world. These new products are making a significant contribution to the impact of regulated site closures and restrictions on household mixing. The success of the company’s digital and remote strategy has led management to position these high margin products as a
Recent trading indicates that market demand for escape rooms is strong. To meet this demand, the company is building out sites on schedule and does not see buildout targets being impacted by the lockdown. As a result, we believe Escape Hunt is well-positioned to deliver high returns to investors post lockdown. During lockdown, we see cash management being supported by remote game sales, the government’s furlough scheme and effective cost control measures.
Escape Hunt announced the acquisition of its Middle East master franchise partner, Escape Hunt Entertainment LLC (“EHE”). The operation offers high potential returns at modest cost and risk to Escape Hunt. The transaction also pushes the company’s rollout ahead of our forecasts. Such acquisition opportunities, combined with attractive new lease terms and rebounding early demand, position the company for strong return potential.
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Devolver Digital to join AIM, an award-winning digital video games publisher and developer in the indie games space. Recently awarded indie 'Publisher of the Year 2021' by GamesIndustry.biz. Offer TBA. Due early Nov.
Life Science REIT to join AIM raising up to £100m. This will be the first London listed real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on UK life science properties providing investors with exposure
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Guild Esports has terminated its largest sponsorship deal to date and entered advanced negotiations for a potentially larger replacement contract that the company hopes to close before the end of the year.
Companies: Guild Esports PLC
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Arrow Exploration Corp. (AIM: AXL ; TSXV: AXL) , the oil and gas exploration and production company, has conditionally raised approximately £8.8m and is due to complete its dual listing on AIM on 25 Oct. Market cap c£13.1m.
Devolver Digital to join AIM, an award-winning digital video games publisher and developer in the indie games space. Recently awarded indie 'Publisher of the Year 2021' by GamesIndustry.biz.
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Studio Retail has announced a H1 trading update (to Sep), detailing strong product sales growth of 38% on a 2 year basis and up marginally YoY (against a tough comp). Financial services revenue was up 11%, also. Supply chain issues have been well managed by the group, as it took the decision in the summer to secure its supply chain. Any additional costs incurred/price inflation will be recouped from a higher pricing strategy in H2. Positively, going into the peak trading period, market data is p
Companies: Studio Retail Group plc
DPP has reported satisfactory interim results given the Covid challenges which continued to impact over Q3, and the fact that synergies have not yet fully come through. However, as normalisation returns and operational synergies start to flow through, it is pleasing to see trading has rebounded strongly with double-digit LFL sales in October. This news is slightly tempered by a soft Q3 and sector wide headwinds (similar to the UK) prompting a lowering of our 3 year forecasts, meaning positive EB
Companies: DP Poland PLC
Guild Esports provided an encouraging operational update and published H1 results yesterday. H1 financial results do not reflect the company’s substantial progress on sponsorships signings, tournament wins and fanbase growth:
Vertu has delivered an impressive set of record H1 results, which showed strong volume outperformance and pricing discipline across all markets. We are raising our FY22 forecasts by 19% to reflect current management guidance and leave our FY23/24 forecasts unchanged for now. Our near term value per share increases to 86p implying a healthy risk reward profile from here.
Companies: Vertu Motors PLC
G4M has delivered an H1 trading update in line with internal expectations against the very strong H1 trading performance last year and is on track to meet full-year consensus market expectations. UK sales performance was the stand-out feature, coming in flat on last year. Europe’s performance was hindered by post-Brexit challenges, down 16% on last year, though up 14% on a two-year view. Group sales are down 8% in aggregate, but up 31% on a two-year view. Gross margin has held up well, being dow
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H1 trading was slightly ahead of expectations from a sales and margin perspective, with UK sales positive in Q2 after annualising very tough Q1 comps. Despite exceptional comps, a good proportion of the gross margin uplift has also been retained. G4M continues to minimise the impact of various global supply chain headwinds. and has good visibility of stock/availability for peak. It is therefore confident of hitting full year expectations. Recent de-rating looks unjustified, particularly given a
Strong performance in H1 means full year EBITDA is now expected to be no less than £5.0m (£6.9m post-IFRS16), driving an EPS upgrade of over 20% while potentially still leaving risk to the upside depending on trading in the traditionally quieter Q4 season. This has been driven in part by further gross margin gains and operational enhancements where further strides are likely. Today’s other news relates to the launch of an in-territory EU fulfilment centre in spring 2022 which will facilitate maj
Companies: Angling Direct Plc
Netflix surged past the target price from our last report as the company reported an exceptionally good result with strong subscriber growth and earnings. The company added as many as 4.38 million subscribers in the quarter, well above the 2.2 million in the corresponding quarter of the previous year on account of the huge success of many of its originals such as Squid Game, Lupin and Money Heist’s latest season. Its 213.56 million paid subscribers across the globe have grown by 9.4% year over y
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Costco has been on a roll as the company had an outstanding month of September with net sales of $19.5 billion for the 5-week period ended October 3, 2021, up 15.8% year over year. The company saw a staggering 14.3% rise in comparable sales with increased consumer traffic as the average American has become far more comfortable shopping in-store today. This comes after a strong fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 where Costco reported an increase in net sales of 17.5% to $61.44 billion. The management
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Despite the encouraging H1 performance, which was partially explained by the staycation-driven increase in demand, and a faster revenue recovery for its UK hotel business, Whitbread’s H2 profit generation should be limited by inflationary pressures and the restrained activities in Germany.
Companies: Whitbread PLC
Guild Esports appears positioned to accelerate audience growth and sponsorship revenues as its teams gain momentum and David Beckham increases promotional activity.
Guild released results for the year ended 30 September 2020, which was pre-revenue and before IPO funding. Post period end, the company signed a three-year £3.6m sponsorship deal and a smaller two-year sponsorship deal.