Shepherd Neame, the Kent-based brewer and pub operator, reported pre-tax profit for the year up 6.1% to £9.9m. Jonathan Neame, the group’s chief executive, said: "This has been a challenging year for both the company and the industry. In spite of poor weather and tougher trading conditions, we have reported a solid financial result and have continued to make good progress in the development of the business." Turnover was up 1.1% to £91.4m for the 52 weeks to 25 June, with operating profit up 15% to £12.1m. The company reported like-for-like sales in its managed houses up 2.6%, retail profit up 3.2% and profit contribution from tenancies up 7.7%. During the year the company refinanced £37.5m of long-term debt at 6% for 20 years, generating "substantial" interest savings when the Pubco debenture is redeemed in the next year. Neame added: "Our pub estate has delivered growth in all areas and is well positioned to take advantage of changes in licensing and smoking legislation. "Our core brands, including Spitfire, are performing well and Asahi Super Dry is an important addition to our portfolio. The significant investments we have made in the brewery, brands and pubs over recent years are delivering improvements, and we are confident of the prospects for the business going forward." The group’s contract to brew Asahi Super Dry was signed after the year-end.