Devon-based pub company and brewer Heavitree said it had achieved a “satisfactory performance” in the face of cost pressures which have included multiple wholesale beer price increases.

Chairman Nicholas Tucker said that having reported a small, pandemic-affected, operating loss at the 2021 year-end, it was pleasing that the company returned a satisfactory performance the second half of the financial year to 31 October 2022.

This resulted in an increase in turnover of 57.64% to £7.3m, compared to the previous year’s figure of £4.6m, it said in a preliminary announcement on its full year results.

Operating profit for the year stood at £1.4m, against a loss of £59k in 2021.

“We have finished the year returning numbers similar to those achieved before the start of the Covid pandemic,” he said.

“In my statement accompanying the half-year accounts I expressed caution about just what might be lying ahead of us in future months.

“Energy costs are of a particular concern, and we have seen some renegotiated contracts during the last six months which have resulted in a tripling, or even quadrupling of electricity and gas costs.”

Tucker said the business had also been exposed to “extraordinary wholesale beer price increases”, with one of its main suppliers announced a 9% increase in September last year followed by a further 15% increase in January 2023.

“These beer price rises are not immediately impacting our pubs due to timings within our contractual agreements, but some level of increase will be applied during the year ahead,” he added.

Heavitree said it had been continuing its programme of selling non-core assets in order to reduce the level of borrowing.

Its term loan with Barclays has been reduced by £1,998,000 and overall bank debt which includes the overdraft facility has been reduced by £2,805,000 during the year under review.

In terms of site developments, a new eight-bedroom development, which replaces a old function room at the Ley Arms in Kenn, is now underway, with the project due for completion in September this year.