Butcombe Brewery, the Somerset-based brewer and pub operator, has reported a 3.7% rise in full-year pre-tax profit to £1.4m in “extremely difficult” trading conditions. The company, which described its performance as “acceptable”, saw turnover grow 30% to £18.4m in the 12 months to 28 February. During the period, Butcombe bought three pubs from local operator Triple Rock, taking its estate to 20 sites and helping increase sales at its pubs from £6.7m to £9.6m. Brewery sales also grew by £1.4m to £8.8m. However, administrative expenses rose 40% to £7.6m. Employment costs increased by just over £1m to £4.2m, based on 302 members of staff against 285 in 2011. Butcombe said: “The company delivered an acceptable trading performance in extremely difficult trading conditions. Increased brewery volumes and tight control of costs within our pubs resulted in improved profitability despite continued margin pressure.” Operating profit in the year increased 4.3% to £1.6m. Since the year end, Butcombe has secured a 21st site, the Imperial Brasserie in Weston Super Mare.