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Escape Hunt to focus on digital offering during lockdown

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Escape Hunt PLC (LON:ESC) said it will focus on its digital and remote play options during the upcoming lockdown, while it is confident on its cash management abilities.

The escape room operator will access funds under the Government’s furlough scheme, which is continuing throughout the lockdown, and follow its own stringent cost control measures already in place.

The AIM-listed firm also announced it exchanged contracts for a site at the previous Intu centre in Watford, which would bring the estate to 14 owner-operated sites.

Games for the Watford site have been manufactured and are currently in transit for installation, while fit-out is expected to commence later this month and will not be impacted by the lockdown.

In the week beginning October 26, revenue jumped 25% on last year, while on a like-for-like basis, the company’s eight sites traded at 96% of the 2019 level.

The new escape room in Basingstoke opened to the public on October 29 and initial trading has been the strongest in any of the company’s new sites to date.

Digital and remote-play products have also begun to contribute meaningfully, as their turnover in recent weeks has been growing strongly and the resultant underlying earnings (EBITDA) contribution has exceeded the equivalent EBITDA from of a separate, mature site.

In September, the firm launched a ‘Print and Play’ game with the theme of a Netflix original film, adding to its existing ‘play at home’ range games to enhance its brand exposure.

Shares shot up 17% to 11.08p on Wednesday morning.

FTSE 100 set for a cautious start as traders await the result of Tuesday’s tighter than expected US

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