Five-a-side lovers still get a kick out of Goals

THE crowds may have flocked to last year’s London Olympics and Paralympics, but diehard five-a-side football fans didn’t desert Goals Soccer Centres.

Yesterday, Goals, which has centres in Hull, Bradford, Leeds and Sheffield, delivered a “resilient” full-year performance, despite a challenging economic climate and the disruption caused by the Olympics, the Jubilee celebrations and Euro 2012. Goals has 43 ‘next generation’ five-a-side soccer centres in the UK, and one in Los Angeles in the US.

In the year ended December 31 2012, Goals saw its sales rise by seven per cent to £32.5m, while profit before exceptional items and tax rose three per cent to £9.5m.

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The company said it had made further progress in reducing its debts, despite the exceptional costs incurred as a result of a takeover bid.

Goals also successfully opened its first modular build centre at Chester, which was delivered on time, and on budget. It is performing in line with management expectations.

During the year, Goals also sealed a new brand partnership with radio station talkSPORT.

Apart from the impact of the bad weather, trading in the first eight weeks of this year has seen total sales increase by five per cent, and like for like sales have risen by three per cent. Goals is “confident of making further progress during 2013 and beyond”.

Keith Rogers, the managing director, said: “2013 has started well and we are confident that this will be another year of significant development for Goals and the Goals brand. Goals Soccer Centres has established itself as the leading small-sided football operator in the UK having grown capacity by over 300 per cent since flotation in 2004. The management is now taking advantage of its scale and leveraging maximum value from its current estate, through partnerships with established UK brands including talkSPORT.

“Combined with a new dedicated online social media strategy, Goals aims to further drive pitch utilisation and broaden the target audience.”