Bateman’s, the Lincolnshire-based brewer and pub operator, has reported a dip in operating profit and turnover in the “challenging” year to 31 January 2011. However, profit after tax was £92,000, against a loss of £45,000 in 2010, following a disposal of fixed assets. Operating profit fell 6.4% to £274,411 against turnover down 1.5% to £12,636,782, according to Batemans’ latest accounts filed at Companies House. “In a challenging year net turnover was marginally lower than in the prior year, as was operating profit,” the company said. Employment costs as a percentage of turnover increased 3.7% to £18,200. The company’s net asset value increased 1% to £9.671m. Batemans said “significant risks” for the future for its business include customer retention, retaining margin and “dealing with legislative requirements”. “The UK Government’s consistent application of duty increases above inflation runs the serious risk of reducing market consumption while having no impact on the problem of the unruly behavior it is designed to counter.” The company added: “The strategy of investing in our existing estate and our people will continue, with property acquisition opportunities being exploited as appropriate as they occur.” Bateman’s successfully renegotiated its banking facilities before the year end. “A single consolidated loan is now being repaid over 20 years and this has reduced considerably the amount of the debt payable within one year.” Remuneration for the highest paid director was £169,265 (2010: £179,541). Dividend payment in the period was £31,411, unchanged from 2010.