Brewer, pub operator and retailer Adnams saw sales down for the 12 months to 31 December, from £74.7m in 2019, to £50.6m in 2020. The company posted a £3.7m operating loss, compared to profit of £719k for the same period last year. However the business reduced its net debt by £8.3m (46.6%). Beer volumes were down 23%, while its spirits volumes fell by 31%.

The business said that while trading revenues continue to be restricted, its strong focus on cost control and investment in the various mechanisms that support cash flow have been successful in mitigating the financial impact of the pandemic. This included refinancing for another three years with its banking partner Barclays.

Chairman Jonathan Adnams said that in order to financially safeguard its own pubs, it was one of the first businesses to cancel rents, “and I was pleased to see most of the industry followed”.

Adnams added: “The beacons throughout this crisis have been our purpose and values. These inform our approach and our ability to use our long-term perspective to such good effect.

“The way we work with each other, our support for our customers and the communities we operate within, alongside bold and timely investments in preceding years, has meant the business has been able to weather this most challenging of years, avoid significant job losses, retain cash in the business and pay down borrowings”.