Heavitree Brewery, the Exeter-based tenanted pub operator, has reported a 138.7% increase in pre-tax profits in the first half of the year after a spate of sales.

Turnover for the six months to 30 April was up 1.4% to £3.4m. Operating profit fell 9.6% to £631,00, mainly due to costs associated with the group’s final salary pension scheme but pre-tax profits grew to £1.3m.

The group sold the King of Prussia in Bovey Tracey in November for £275,000, the King’s Arms in Strete in March for £275,000 and the Crown and Sceptre in Newton St.Cyres in April for £280,000.

At the time of writing, two unlicensed properties in Exeter and another in the South Hams are being marketed for sale. One of the Exeter properties is sold subject to contract. I hope to report further on these at the year-end.

On the outlook, the group said: “The sales of The King of Prussia, The King’s Arms and The Crown and Sceptre, all of which had been closed for some time and had been incurring various consequential costs, will have a positive effect for the Group in terms of revenue. The proceeds from the sales have also reduced our level of debt which the Board considers to be a prudent goal in these uncertain times.

“Trading has remained ahead of budget at the end of the first half of the year. The trading effect of the FIFA World Cup looks promising and, together with the prolonged period of favourable weather which our region is currently enjoying, we believe that the Company is well placed going into the second half of the year.”