London pub operator Urban Pubs and Bars has announced its plans to double its size to capitalise on sustained strong demand.

The group, which currently manages 42 venues, is looking to continue its expansion trajectory, with a promising pipeline of potential new openings.

Urban Pubs and Bars, which began with the launch of the Whippet pub in Kensal Rise in north-west London, celebrated its 10th anniversary in May 2024.

The company has accelerated its growth in recent years, acquiring 13 former Barworks venues in 2021.

Urban Pubs and Bars co-founder Malc Heap expressed the group’s intention to maintain a robust pace of openings.

Heap said: “We’ve got to 42 pubs after some really strong openings over the past few years, doubling us in size.

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“And we’re hoping we can do that again over the coming years too.

“Our balance sheet is in a really good position to allow us to move when good opportunities arise and we are really happy with our pipeline.

“Our immediate ambitions are to keep growing. Our performance and growth have been really good for the past two or three years so we are taking a lot of confidence from that and our good management team.”

The group, supported by investors Davidson Kempner and Global Mutual, reported earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation of £6.4m for the year to 30 April 2023 – an 11% increase from the previous year. The group also saw like-for-like sales grow by 17%, while turnover surged by 60% to £52.2m, bolstered by its ongoing expansion.

Urban Pubs and Bars has also indicated that it will focus on acquiring more sites within London as part of its growth strategy.

Heap continued: “London is a competitive market but we will still focus on growth there because it’s a market we know we are confident in.”