Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries this morning said that trading over the summer period had been "satisfactory" The group said that business was up on the year, not counting the benefit of Euro 2004 in the same period last year. In the 51 weeks ended 24 September, total like-for-like sales at Pathfinder Pubs were 2.8% ahead of last year. Like-for-like sales in The Union Pub Company were up 2.8% on the year. In W&DB Brands, brewed beer volumes increased by 5.2% (excluding non-owned brands), including a 14.8% increase in premium ale. Ralph Findlay, the group’s chief executive, said: "The growth of the business is being driven by a combination of organic development and the successful integration of recent acquisitions. "Our focus on good quality freehold community pubs, high retail standards and popular beer brands places us in a good position to benefit from the changes that are taking place in the industry." Wolves said that margins were ahead of last year despite "significant" cost increases, with results for the year expected to be in line with its expectations. The company said it would counter the reported challenging consumer environment and rising energy and staff costs by improving productivity and considering transferring smaller managed houses to tenancies.