Heavitree Brewery, the Exeter-based tenanted pub operator, achieved a 0.9% increase in group turnover for the six months to 30 April 2019, to £3.42m, as increased costs hit profit.

Operating profit fell by 1.1% to £624,000 for the period, as a result of additional costs associated with external management services at three houses, which were traded over a period before new tenants were signed up.

Group profit before taxation stood at £705,000. Heavitree said that while this reflected a significant decrease on the previous year’s £1.3m, 2018’s half year figure contained a book profit of £830,000 as a result of the sale of four properties in that period.

During the period, a house on the old St Loye’s Hotel site in Exeter was sold, having completed in February. Following the sale of a small block of flats on the site last year, the sale of this last house completes the sale of the properties developed on the garden area of the pub in 2012.

The business also completed the second phase of its refurbishment of the Church House Inn in Stokenham, which has seen a new bar installed, a small extension and a new fire escape for bed and breakfast rooms.

Chairman Nicholas Tucker said: “I am pleased with this steady performance for the half year with the Company trading in line with last year and I feel, despite the continuing political uncertainty, we are well-positioned going into the second half of the year.”