Cardiff-based pub operator JW Bassett is on the expansion trail and looking to add another freehold pub to its South Wales estate, managing director Jon Bassett told M&C Report.

The company is in a position to make an acquisition as soon as a suitable pub becomes available in South Wales or Bristol.

Bassett told M&C Report he is focusing on a tighter geographical area to ensure quality is maintained throughout the estate: “I think it’s better to concentrate on keeping an eye for detail than spreading everything too thinly.”

The group has seen sales up 25% year-on-year and profits at a similar point this year to date, due in part to the pubs are becoming “more active on the food side” which has prompted sales of food growing to 25% compared to 12-13% last year.

As well as food, Bassett is looking to make the pubs “more quirky” after the popularity of introducing ping pong tables to The Four Elms in Cardiff.

Bassett said as soon as a next site becomes available he is in a position to move with cash and support from the bank.

“We are ready to go tomorrow if something came up but there’s nothing suitable, I’m not aggressively looking but when the right site comes up I’m ready.”

Earlier this year the group acquired the freehold of the Wig & Pen in Newport to grow its estate to seven. It also operates six pubs in Cardiff, Newport, Penarth and Bristol. Bassett said the focus will be on freeholds because they are more profitable, however for a larger site such a the The Queens Volt outside Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, the leasehold model is successful. The Queens Volt was named CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year this year.