Market Town Taverns, the 15-strong Yorkshire-based pub operator, has reported a rise in profits and turnover prior to its sale to Isle of Man hospitality firm Heron & Brearley last October. Pre-tax profits grew 22% to £0.52m on turnover up 28% to £6.59m in the 12 months to 30 September 2011, according to accounts filed at Companies House. Three new sites opened in the period and like-for-like sales also increased, said the company, which described 2011 as “another good year”. “Gross profit margins were maintained during the year despite general cost pressures and especially punitive alcohol duty increases. “Year on year, administrative costs including staff costs, increased 30%, partly due to inflationary pressures, but mostly as a consequence of the expansion of the estate. “The net effect of the above trends is that profit before tax grew by 22% year on year.” Operating profit for the year increased 23.5% to £0.53m. The company said it was “cash positive” at the year end. Market Town Taverns became Heron & Brearley’s operational vehicle in the UK when it acquired the Yorkshire firm for an undisclosed sum last October, with long term plans to expand in northern England. Heron & Brearley said at the time there would be “no fundamental change” at Market Town Taverns, with managing director Ian Fozard having agreed to remain in post for at least 12 months.

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