Market Town Taverns, the Yorkshire-based pub and bar operator, has said it had a “steady period of performance” in the 16 months to 2 February and stated that it planned to undertake some “sizeable investments” in existing sites this year.

Sales for the 15-strong group grew 40% to £9.3m compared to the previous 12-month trading period. The firm said this was “almost entirely” due to the extra four months trading - reporting dates were changed to put it in line with parent company Heron & Brearley.

Pre-tax profits declined c15% to £445,746 due to “increased support costs” relating to Heron & Brearley’s acquisition in October 2011. Operating profit fell from £529,267 to £445,983.

“Gross profit margins have been fairly well maintained despite general cost pressures and continued aggressive alcohol duty increases,” the company said.

“Food costs have also come under pressure this year. Administration costs including labour costs have increased 48% almost entirely due to the increased year end period length but also due to inflationary pressures.”

The company described the period as a “steady period of performance” amid “difficult trading conditions” and a year of “operational and management transition” following its acquisition.

It added: “At the year end the company’s cash position was positive and has adequate cash resource for its future needs as no new site acquisitions are planned for the forthcoming year. There will be some sizeable investments in existing sites, with extensions planned at two sites.

“The directors have a positive outlook for the forthcoming year, despite difficult economic conditions. Further sales growth is expected in some taverns, whilst improvements in efficiencies of performance management information should yield benefits in gross profit margin and cost control.”

Simon Midgley, former operations director at the company, succeeded Ian Fozard as managing director of Market Town Taverns at the end of 2012.