Amber Taverns grew like-for-like sales 2.5% in the year to 5 February.

Managing director James Baer told MCA it had been “a year of good progress” and stressed that the group’s focus and quality and value put it in a strong position going forward.

Turnover grew 23.5% to £64.9m in the year with operating profit growing 7% to £8.7m.

The period saw the group grow to 130 sites after taking on 12 new sites and disposing of two sites, in Ince and Castleford. Among the acquisitions for the year were five pubs from JD Wetherspoon.

Since the year end the group has disposed of sites in Felling and Edlingron, completed on four new sites and exchanged on one more.

Pre-tax profit for the year rose to £8.7m from £8.1m and company EBITDA increased from £11m to £14m.

The company said acquisitions would continue to be monitored on a case by case basis and that the group would look at closed sites requiring change of use and currently trading

Baer said: “This was a year of good progress , albeit slightly flattered by a 53rd week. Like-for-like income was up 2.5% and operating margins held up well. We continue to believe that a well invested wet led pub, offering the right blend of a quality environment and reasonable prices has a good future.

“We think value will continue to be key as household incomes are further squeezed but we also think going to the pub will remain a much loved affordable treat for our customers.

“Cost pressures remain an issue for the sector and while I think the government have more pressing demands on their time and money than a reduction in VAT for our industry , business rates need addressing and lobbying on beer duty needs to come back into fashion.