Suffolk-based pubco and retailer Adnams has reported a sizable loss in its half year accounts to 30 June 2020, with trade considerably affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The group saw a pre-tax loss of £3.5 million in the period, compared to a loss of £800,000 in 2019, and EBITDA was minus £1.6 million, against a profit of £1 million in 2019.

Turnover for the first six months was £21 million, compared to £34.7 million in 2019.

In light of the onset of the coronavirus crisis, the group cancelled its final dividend for 2019, and no interim dividend is proposed for 2020.

At 30 June its bank debt was £14m, an improvement on its June 2019 debt of £21m, which the business has attributed to strong cost and working capital management as well as utilising opportunities in deferring various taxes and duties.

Focused control of cash and spending has ensured that Adnams banking facilities, which are all provided through Barclays Bank, have remained at £22m, £10m of which is in the form of term loans whose maturity has been extended to over a year as at 30th June 2020.

With the majority of its drinks sales being to pubs and other on-trade outlets, which were all closed from 23 March, the crisis has had a “serious impact” on this side of the business.

At the end of February, beer volumes were running just under 3% behind the prior year, and dropped to 24% behind in April, with the on-trade business restricted to small deliveries to pubs running takeaway operations.

It saw strong growth, however, in its take home sales, up 25% on 2019 for the period, whereas overall beer volumes were down 25%.

Its online sales represented a “true highlight” in the difficult period, rising four-fold compared to 2019, serving many new customers and establishing this arm of the business in an improved position.

Commenting on the results, Adnams chairman Jonathan Adnams said: “Our diversified strategy has enabled the business to pivot and adapt to the changing environment quickly. Through controlling costs, maximising opportunities, and delivering operational excellence at pace has ensured that we have continued to grow the parts of the business that could operate.

“Our focus on resilience, recovery and doing the right thing has continued to grow our social capital with our incredible team, customers and others. As we approach the Adnams’ 150th anniversary in 2022 we can look forward to building back better.”