Adnams, the Suffolk-based brewer, pub and hotel operator, is repaying staff who took reductions in salary during the pandemic.

The company is also paying a one-off interim dividend to reward shareholders who supported the company through the pandemic.

The moves follow a “creditable performance” during 2021, when Adnams made made an operating loss of just £0.9m.

Sales grew from 2020 to £57.4m, while beer volumes were level with 2020.

Net bank debt was £11m, with positive EBITDA of £2.6m,

The company said strong cost control and investment in IT systems enabled the business to mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic and position it well for 2022.

Chairman Jonathan Adnams OBE said: “Given large parts of the business were closed or operating under restrictions for 31 weeks of the year this is considered a creditable performance. The company traded well and was cash generative once restrictions really began to be removed from 17 May.

“The business undoubtedly benefited from foreign travel restrictions and was well positioned to take advantage of more people choosing to holiday in the UK.”

Beer and spirit volumes in the on-trade took longer to re-establish themselves as free trade customers and pubcos were cautious about overstocking amid uncertainty over further restrictions, Adnams said.