Join our community of smart investors

Goals shoots for growth

The leading operator of five-a-side football pitches in the UK is expanding rapidly at home and abroad

Rapid expansion over the past decade has turned Goals Soccer Centres (GOAL) into the leading player in the fast-growing five-a-side football market, operating 44 centres in the UK and one in Los Angeles. But growth was put on hold last year in order to repay debt and focus on improving returns from its existing assets.

IC TIP: Buy at 220p

That's no longer the case. Alongside these first-half results came news that Goals has completed its debt restructuring programme and is shifting back into growth gear. The restructuring resulted in £3.8m of exceptional costs during the period, but a new £42.5m non-amortising debt facility should now reduce interest costs by £1m a year. An £11m placing in March also helped cut net borrowings to £37m - from £48m a year ago and £54m in mid-2012. Meanwhile, the company's strategy to improve returns has paid off, with like-for-like sales growth of 3 per cent across the group. The launch of a new app later this month should provide a further boost.

With its house now in order, Goals can accelerate the roll-out of new sites. Two new UK centres will be up and running by the end of this year, while three are planned for 2015 and five for 2016, including several in the United States. Broker N+1 Singer forecasts adjusted pre-tax profits of £10.8m this year, giving EPS of 14.9p, rising to £12.5m and 16.9p next year.

GOALS SOCCER CENTRES (GOAL)
ORD PRICE:220pMARKET VALUE:£ 129m
TOUCH:218-222p12-MONTH HIGH:235pLOW: 152p
DIVIDEND YIELD:0.8%PE RATIO:21
NET ASSET VALUE:129pNET DEBT:49%

Half-year to 30 JunTurnover (£m)Pre-tax profit (£m)Earnings per share (p)Dividend per share (p)
201316.64.16.00.675
201417.10.60.50.675
% change+3-85-92-

Ex-div:23 Oct

Payment:28 Nov