Shepherd Neame, the Kent-based brewer and pub operator, saw growth accelerate across its tenanted and managed pubs, its hotels and core brands in the 26 weeks ended 28 December, with managed like-for-likes up 7.5% in the period.
Turnover was up 4.7% to £72.5m, with operating profit before exceptionals up 2.1% to £6.8m. Pre-tax profit fell from £4.5m to £4.1m after it incurred an exceptional items related to business reorgnisation costs of £500,000.
In the managed estate, growth was led by food, up 8.4% in like-for-like terms, and accommodation, up 8.8%. Liquor like-for-likes grew 6.8%.
Tenanted like-for-like EBITDAR was up 1.5%, with average EBITDAR per pub up 4.4%. Operating profit before exceptionals was up 2.1% to £6.8m in the period, in which there was an increased investment in marketing and pub decorations.
During the period it invested £1.4m (2012: £1.2m) in its tenanted estate.
In its hotels arm, the Marine Hotel has “performed above expectations” since the major redevelopment in 2013. “Refurbishment of the restaurant and bar at The Bell Hotel, Sandwich completed in December and the redevelopment of The Fayreness Hotel, Kingsgate is nearing completion and will re-open before Easter under its new name, The Botany Bay Hotel.”
Total company beer volume grew by 4.1% for the period (2012: -4%). Excluding Kingfisher, which the company stopped brewing last October, its core own and licensed beer portfolio grew by 11.1%.
Marketing spend has been increased to support core and licensed brand growth.
The company said it was “on track with our strategic plans”.
“The key focus of the Board this year is to implement the new logistics agreement, seek new sales opportunities arising from that, consolidate the business and Board around two trading divisions as announced in July 2013, and drive higher performance out of existing assets.”
Basic earnings per share before exceptionals increased 10.3% to 28.9p and the interim dividend increased from 5p to 5.15p per pound.
Jonathan Neame, chief executive, said: “I am pleased to report a strong trading performance in all areas of the business, which shows the benefit of investing consistently in our pubs and brands over many years. Our tenanted, managed pubs and hotels and core brands have all accelerated their rate of growth during this period. We believe our business is in a strong position to continue to benefit from any further improvement in the economy.”