McMullen’s, the Hertfordshire-based brewer and pub operator, has reported managed house like-for-like sales up 1.6% in 2017, driven by wet sales.

The group saw turnover in the year to September 2017 hit £80.8m – up 2% vs a 53-week year in 2016 and c4% on a 52/52 basis.

The group saw underlying profit before tax grow 14%.

On trade in the first half of this financial year, joint managing director, Tom McMullen told MCA results had been “mixed” with a particularly poor March versus last year, but an upturn with the recent spell of good weather.

On the outlook for 2018, he said: “(We expect) slight like-for-like growth but likely to be below the level required to counter balance cost inflation. Non-comparable sites (will be) driving performance following some material investments and new builds.”

Reflecting on 2017, chairman Charles Brims said: “We are pleased with progress. Investment and growth are mutually dependent. We have maintained our investment in our existing pubs, such as the White Hart in Hertford, we have built new pubs such as the Kings Mead near Ware, and we continue to acquire other buildings with the intention to bring them into licensed trading. Alongside this capital investment in property and customer experience we have also continued the investment in the working conditions and training of our valued team members.”