Wadworth, the Wiltshire brewer and pub operator, criticised the ability and attitude of some of its tenants as it reported “disappointing” results for the year to 30 September 2010. Operating profit fell 15.5% to £6.322m, against turnover down £500k to £52.09m. Profit for the financial year was £3.444m (2009: £3.794m). Net debt reduced by £1.23m to £31.866m. Describing the outcome for the year as “disappointing”, chairman Charles Bartholomew said the tenanted division “is still finding life difficult and ended the year 6% down”, although like-for-like rental income was down just 1% and turnover of tenants fell from 22% to 17%. “Of course we have some very good performers and some excellent new licensees and these are generally the ones who plan ahead and build support form their customers. “But we still have a number of licensees who either have not the skills to market their pubs or still believe that being an average pub is good enough. This is not the case and we need to change this attitude and jointly build trade.” With food sales in growth, he revealed that Wadworth is fitting a new training kitchen next to its visitor centre where the food development manager can help tenants with cooking and menus. Bartholomew said: “There is a lot to do this year. We need to start by getting the tenanted side back growing again and to use some of the skills we have learnt in managed houses in our tenancies.” The company sold five tenanted pubs in the year and spent £1.355m on capital projects in the division. It also bought one pub for the division: the Jolly Sailor at Saltford, near Bristol. Like-for-like sales in the managed arm were almost level after a stronger H2 mitigated a “poor” first half. Own-ale sales in the managed sites were up 7% over the period. “[The managed sites] took advantage of some good weather, tied in with a greater focus on our food offering and a new impetus selling accommodation,” said Bartholomew. “At the same time, we are getting much better at planning our events calendar well ahead and telling our customers.” In total £600k was spent on five “major schemes” in the managed estate, and £1.170m on capital projects. Wadworth bought two pubs for the division: the Black Horse at Sowton, near Exeter, and the White Hart at Wytham, near Oxford. It took the Colesbourne near Cheltenham under management and moved two sites to tenancy. Wadworth has identified five pubs for disposal this financial year. The free trade division had a “good year”, with own-beer sales up 8% “and margins maintained with an increased contribution of 3%”. Sales of national brands were down 12%, reflecting the “tough” trading conditions in the market. Bartholomew reported “consistently good” trading of its beers, with volumes of cask beer and cans increasing, aided by its continued sponsorship of the Bath Rugby team. Take-home had an “improved year”, with its flagship brand 6X “going particularly well”. Gas and electricity costs in its new brewhouse fell 38%, although Bartholomew said overheads generally “still need to be targeted”. Earnings per share fell from 49.96p to 45.35p. Directors recommended a final dividend of 13.85p, unchanged from 2009.