Heavitree Brewery, the Devonshire pub operator, has reported half-year pre-tax profits down 17% from £749,000 to £621,000 on sales up 4.2% from £4.51m to £4.7m.

It said foot-and-mouth disease was having a marked effect on two managed pubs. Some of its tenanted houses could also be hit as the summer went on.

Heavitree Inns managed houses contributed a loss of £202,000, £27,000 worse than the same period last year but figures for April and May were better, the company said.