FIVE-a-side centre operator Goals Soccer Centres saw sales and profits, before costs, rise in the six months to June 30.
Revenues were 11% ahead at £16.3m and pre-tax profits of £4.4m were up from £4m this time last year.
But costs, including £2.8m on the unsuccessful takeover bid by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board which was rejected by shareholders last month, £1.3m on a successful VAT challenge which will result in a £500,000 benefit, and a £2m write-off on building costs, resulted in a pre-tax figure of £1.6m.
The company operates 43 centres in the UK, including two in Speke and Netherton, and one in Los Angeles.
It recently opened a new site in Chester featuring innovative modular technology which was completed on time and to budget.
It reduces build costs from £2.3m per centre to £1.5m and build time from 22 weeks to 14.
The group says for the foreseeable future it will use the same modular technique for all its centres. It says it has established a pipeline of more than 40 sites.
Goals also announced a £2.8m placing of shares with existing shareholders today in a bid to bring debts down to below £40m before the year end in 2014.
Trading in the first six months of 2012 has been in line with management expectations and managing director Keith Rogers said: “The board is committed to improving returns from our enlarged estate and reducing the current level of net debt.
“New centre roll-out will be at a rate consistent with achieving this and we are confident that this strategy will lead to increasing returns for shareholders.”
Simon French and Lindsey Kerrigan, analysts with Liverpool stockbroker Panmure Gordon, retained their hold evaluation on the company’s shares today.
The said: “Quarter three trading has been in line with expectations, but the group has announced a £2.8m placing as it seeks to reduce net debt to under £40m by the end of 2014.
“Shareholders may feel a bit miffed at being asked to subscribe to the proposed placing at 115p per share having rejected a 144p per share bid just weeks ago.”
They added: “Goals is a solid business with strong management, but needs to go through a period of rehabilitation. We reiterate our hold recommendation.”