Freehold wet-led pub operator Amber Taverns has reported a pre-tax loss of £414,427 in the year to 31 January 2011, after incurring an impairment bill of £788,537 and charges in relation to its management buy-out. Turnover increased by one third to £18.5m for Amber, which saw its estate of pubs in northern England increase from 46 to 59 during the year. Like-for-like sales were up 2% (2010: 4.9%). Ebitda per site increased 36% to £4.69m and operating profit before exceptional items rose 25% to £2.56m. An impairment bill of £788,537 was incurred on sites that are to be marketed in the current financial year. There were also exceptional charges totally almost £1.25m in relation to loan payments and repayment of preference shares as a result of the LGV Capital-backed management buyout in October 2010. The pre-tax loss of £414,427 compares to a profit of £1.086m in the previous year. The company said: “At the beginning of 2010 the company owned 46 trading units, plus one in refit and one closed unit from the former Cain’s estate. A further 13 units were acquired during the year and two units were sold, leaving the company with an estate of 59 freehold public houses in January 2011. “Since this date a further three units have been acquired and opened and one unit, owned at the year end, has been opened.” In June 2010 Amber secured further funds from Lloyds Banking Group in the form of a revolving credit facility for acquisitions and refurbishments. At the year end, cash at bank and ‘in hand’ was £2,511,235 (2010: £2,023,658). Of this, the bank deposit account, to be used solely for buying and renovating pubs, was £1,097,575 (2009: £1,247,538). Renumeration excluding pensions contributions for the highest paid director was £140,339 (2009: £130,094) The company said the current financial year has “started well”. “Excluding the timing difference for Easter, like-for-like sales are running at +4%.” Its four units that began trading in the period are all performing “ahead of expectations”.