Heavitree Brewery, the Devon-based brewer and pub operator, has reported a modest fall of 2.2% in pre-tax profit to £1.225m for the year to 31st October 2010, despite a near 20% drop in turnover. The company reported a 19.78% decrease in turnover to £7.38m for the year, and said this was because the previous year enjoyed extra turnover due to the associated sales from its remaining managed houses before they were returned to tenancies. The group reported an increase in operating profit of £1.427m for the 12 months, up from £1.046m the previous year. It also said it would recommend a dividend of 3.5p. Nicholas Tucker, chairman, said: “We have continued to support our tenants and leaseholders during the present difficult trading environment. This we shall continue to do in the year ahead. The increase in the rate of VAT in January, the promise of another Excise Duty increase, wholesale price increases and the treacherous weather conditions at the start of the new financial year have applied further pressure on all pubs. “I am most grateful for the performance of both our operators and our head office staff whose skills and hard work have combined to produce this year's pleasing set of results. In the present climate it will be vital to continue with a similar focus.”