C2 Investments, the pub operator and brewer, saw post-tax profits rise more than five-fold in the year to 31 January 2011 after increasing sales across its business. Profit after tax jumped from £24,366 to £125,517 on turnover up 24.6% to £3,970,772, according to accounts filed at Companies House. C2, which was founded by Matt Jackson and Phil Simpson in 2001, reported strong growth at all its four pubs and hotels and at the Lancaster Brewery Company, for which C2 has a 72% stake. The Sun Hotel & Bar in Lancaster achieved “further sales growth in 2010 in a difficult trading environment”, with hotel occupancy at c.79%. Turnover was “substantially higher” at the Duke of Edinburgh in Barrow in Furness, and there was “positive improvement” at the Palatine in Morecambe. The Mill at Ulverston had a “steadily improving performance” - it’s set to make £30k profit in 2011/2012, taking around £11k-£12k per week. C2’s developments at its pubs for this year include adding a cellar live music bar at the Duke of Edinburgh and investing in the food offering at the Palatine. Meanwhile, the Lancaster Brewery further increased trade with wholesalers and independent retailers during the year, C2 said. Bottled beer volumes rose “significantly”, with major distribution agreements with Asda and others. However, capacity of the brewery was reached, leading to an outsourcing of some brewing “with consequent squeeze on margins”. Work has begun on a new 50-barrel brewery site. New beer ranges will be developed and the company has introduced a range of bottled ciders. Elsewhere, operating profit for the company increased from £106,114 to £245,075, with pre-tax profits leaping from £28,825 to £136,819. Interest payments increased from £77,289 to £108,257. The highest paid director’s salary fell by more than £10,507 to £230,365. Overall staff costs increased £242,799 to £1,465,208, with employee numbers up six to 95.

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