McManus Pub Group, the Northamptonshire-based pub operator, has reported a 10.3% rise in EBITDA to £1.6m in the year to 28 April and said it would consider further acquisitions. Sales for the 19-strong company increased 0.5% to £11.2m, driven by a 1.6% rise in food sales. Pre-tax profit increased 36% to £757,000, and operating profit grew by £235,000 to £1.2m. McManus said total pub gross profit increased by £13,000 on the prior year. GP fell from 71.1% to 70.9%. “Due to strong competition pub group has only been able to pass wet cost and duty increases onto its customers. Food sales growth has come alongside improved food margin - food GP percentage increased from 65.2% to 65.7%,” the company said. “Where possible we have pulled back on the value of wet and food sale discounts. Two for One menu offers have been removed and replaced with lower discount offers such as Two for £10.95, Two for £12.95. As business conditions improve a key factor for success is weaning the customer off discounts offered at the peak of recession.” McManus cut its payroll costs by £102,000, which reduced the ratio of payroll to sales from 28.3% to 27.2%. Total debt for the pub group fell by £643k to £10.9m, It is scheduled to repay £792,000 in 2013, further reducing the bank debt to EBITDA. “The pub group’s current debt facility with RBS is not due to expire until November 2014. The directors believe that this will be successfully renegotiated given the group’s strong financial results, and declining bank debt EBITDA ratio,” McManus said. “The pub group has shown solid performance under competitive and challenging circumstances. In the current year the group has plans to redevelop three existing sites to further improve earnings, and would consider both freehold and leasehold opportunities to expand the estate.” McManus operates seventeen freeholds and two leaseholds in Northampton, Essex and Middlesex. Last week M&C Report carried the results from McManus Pub Company, which is one of five trading companies within McManus Pub Group.