Young’s & Co has reported a total revenue increase of 7.3% for the 26 weeks to 30 September 2019, in a period it described as a ‘game of two halves’.

Revenue rose from £156.8m in the first half of this year, to £168.2m, boosted by the acquisition of Redcomb Pubs earlier this year. Adjusted EBITDA (pre-IFRS 16 illustrative) was up 7.2% to £43.3m, with adjusted profit before tax seeing a 3.4% uplift to £27m.

Like-for-like (lfl) sales growth in its premium managed pub estate struggled against the strong comparables last year, with poor weather earlier in the first half dampening performance, however the warmer bank holiday and late-September sunshine helped balance out the lfls for the period overall, which were up by 1.1%.

Trading in the most recent 13 weeks has been strong, with managed house revenue up 12.4% and up 5.1% on a lfl basis, said the brewer and pub operator.

Investments of £17.3m during the period included the freehold acquisition of the White Bear in Tunbridge Wells, while the Redcomb estate, acquired for £34m earlier this year, has now been successfully integrated into its existing estate and was performing in line with expectations.

Within its managed house estate – which is now up to 200 sites, including 30 hotels – total revenue was up 7.8% to £11.7m, with lfls up 1.1%. Overall food sales (+10.6%) outperformed drink (+6.4%), during the first half of the year, with Sunday food sales the main growth area, up 6.2%.

It was a more challenging period for its tenanted division – The Ram Pub Company – which saw lfls decline by 1.6%, on the back of tough comparables, and adjusted pre-IFRS 16 operating profits down by £0.2m to £2.3m.

Patrick Dardis, chief executive of Young’s said: “I am very pleased with the performance of our business during the first half of the year. In what was a challenging period up against tough comparatives, we continued to grow profits, make acquisitions, invest organically and increase the dividend: a reflection of the consistent execution of our strategy and the hard work of our teams throughout those six months.”

He said the group continued to look for opportunities to boost its managed house estate, in new locations where it believes a premium offer would flourish.

“Our expectations for the full year remain unchanged and we remain confident in our ability to deliver long-term growth and sustainable superior investor returns,” he added.