Adnams, the Suffolk-based brewer, pub operator and distiller, is set to further consolidate its estate over the coming 12 months, which will see it dispose of a number of pubs.
Chairman Jonathan Adnams told M&C Report that the group would continue to look at streamlining its 60-strong tenanted estate, with further village pub disposals expected. He also said that he believed regional operators who did not diversify their business would continue to struggle going forward.
He said that the group had picked up momentum in terms of performance in the final six month of 2013 and that this had continued into the first three months of this year.
The company hopes to add a further Cellar & Kitchen site to its estate later this year, but this will balanced with the disposal of up to two stores under the format.
The group sold four pubs in the year and another pub shortly after the year end. It also sold a former pub property more recently used as accommodation for its hotel staff. Profit on disposal of assets stood at £1.1m up from £267k the previous year.
Adnams said: “Where we think the future of a pub, especially a village pub, would work better under a new owner, with new ideas, then we would look to move that pub on. Similarly we would never say no to picking up a good pub if the opportunity arose. However, I can see us further streamlining our estate over the coming years, especially as we explore further ways to diversify the business.
“The traditional beer market has been in decline for several years, so innovation and diversification has been key in helping the business continue to move forward. Those that have not been able to take that route are struggling and will continue to do so.”