Thorley Taverns, the Kent-based operator of 28 pubs, restaurants and hotels, has reported steep losses for the year to 30 June 2011 after incurring an exceptional property impairment charge of almost £1m. Turnover fell 1.9% to £13.5m, in what the company called a “difficult trading period”. A property valuation undertaken in the period saw an impairment charge of £970k added to the balance sheet. Subsequently the company reported a loss before tax of £1.06m, against pre-tax profit of £296k in 2010. Gross profit fell 4.8% to £8.63m, with operating profit at £137k (2010: £610k). Thorley Taverns said: “A number of factors have contributed to the overall performance: poor summer weather, several bouts of snow during the winter and England’s poor performance in the World Cup, plus the additional 2.5% added to VAT. “However the main problem faced by the company is the continued competition from the major supermarkets, retailing alcohol at low prices in order to encourage the public into their stores to increase the turnover on other products.” Thorley Taverns said positive cashflow of £71k was achieved in the year, and the company predicted “improved trading in the year ahead”. The company said it continued to invest in all its outlets, particularly its hotels “which continue to produce excellent trading results”. Since the year end, the firm has disposed of a number of sites and reinvested in new and existing ones, and also restructured its banking facilities. “These changes are expected to have a positive effect on the company’s trading results in the year to 30 June 2012,” the firm added. Thorley Taverns’ disposals in this current trading period include the Fayreness Hotel in Kingsgate, which was bought by Shepherd Neame in September. In February it bought three pubs in Broadstairs for c.£3.5m.