InnBrighton, the Brighton & Hove licensed multiple retailer, has posted a 13.6% increase in Ebitda for the financial year to 30 June 2010. The privately owned operator of 43 pubs, bars and clubs in the city of Brighton & Hove has enjoyed a year-on-year revenue increase of 5.2% to £21m with like-for-like sales up 6.2%. Ebitda (post exceptional costs) is up 13.6% at £3.2m, an increase which was assisted by the conversion of four Punch leases to freeholds during the period. Exceptional charges relate largely to non-cash impairments of £2.3m of fixed assets. However the balance sheet has improved by £1.2m year-on-year. Gavin George, InnBrighton’s chief executive, believes the company traded robustly during the year, despite the continued rise in the costs of operating the business, particularly in the late night sector. “The apparent resilience of the Brighton & Hove market to the recession has helped to keep sales buoyant during a year where extra costs have continued to be heaped on the industry. We are not immune to these increases and are therefore very pleased with InnBrighton’s performance, believing it compares favourably with other operators in the sector” George is cautious on the short-term trading environmnt. “The impact of government cuts on customers’ spending habits cannot be taken lightly, nor can the potential increase in compliance costs should the rebalancing of the licensing act proposals be fully implemented. However, Brighton & Hove is a fantastic city in which to live, work and visit and the licensed trade is very important to the cultural vibrancy and the economy of the city. For those reasons we expect the impact of external factors to be less marked in this city, but we remain cautious about conditions post the VAT and duty rises. "A programme of cost cutting, balanced with investment in the existing sites will help us to trade through any difficult times ahead for Brighton.” Gary Pettet, the group’s chairman, added: “The robustness of our core Brighton business allows us to continue to look at opportunities to expand into areas of London, where we believe our model would work. We have the cash and the investor backing to move quickly should the right opportunities present themselves”