Hawthorn, the community pub company, has reported like-for-like volumes in its leased and tenanted estate are at 98% compared to the same period in 2019.

The 700-strong business, part of NewRiver, said since 12 April 2021, like-for-like sales were at 83% in its operator managed estate, which represents about 20% of its portfolio.

The company, which recently acquired a package of 14 pubs from Everards, has reopened 91% of pubs reopened by 17 May, and has a 96.7% occupancy rate.

During the full year ended 31 March 2021, NewRiver invested £7m in 200 capital projects, many of which enhanced outside pub spaces.

During the period, of £9.8m was raised selling 45 non-core pubs, part of a strategic plan to exit from fully managed portfolio.

In response to the revenue recovery in pubs since reopening, NewRiver repaid funds received under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Pub net property income was £1m during the year to 31 March 2021, compared to £24.5m in the year to 31 March 2020

The impact of closing pubs throughout lockdown adversely impacted income by £14.6m, with the support provided to partners, predominantly in the form of rent waivers, further reducing income by £8.7m.

The cost of destroying beer supplies was £400,000.

Mark Davies, CEO of Hawthorn, said: “Covid-19 represented the single greatest challenge that our sector has faced in generations. I’m immensely proud of the tireless work that our team have put in to ensure that our pub partners and operators have been able to navigate this difficult year and reopen safely and successfully.

“Our people are our most important asset, and relationships with our partners are stronger than ever thanks to the unprecedented levels of support – both financial and personal – that we have provided, which will benefit the business for years to come, and help us achieve our objective of being the leading national community pub operator.”