Young’s has announced a series of regional acquisitions and the return to growth of its Geronimo Inns estate.

The company this morning reported on its interim results for the 26 weeks to 26 September, in which revenue grew 7.7% to £136m.

Revenue in the managed estate was up 7.6% in total and 5.4% on a like-for-like basis. This was made up of 6% uplift in the Young’s managed houses estate and a return to form for Geronimo with a 3.5% like-for-like rise, compared to a 1.4% decline in the first half of 2015. Total sales in Young’s managed houses were up 6.7% and up 10.7% in Geronimo, influenced by new openings.

Drink sales were up 8.4% in total and 6.4% on a like-for-like basis. Wine sales have grown by 9.1%.

Food sales were up 6.9% in total and 4% on a like-for-like basis. The group said its new menu and brunch offering had driven growth.

In the last 13 weeks total sales were up by 4.8% and 3% on a like-for-like basis.

Room occupancy across the estate was up 1.3% to 78.6%, with RevPAR maintained at £63.80.

Revenue in the Ram Pub Company was up 9.2% in total and up 3.8% on a like-for-like basis.

Young’s invested £20.4m during the period, including two freehold acquisitions - Woolpack (Bermondsey) and Blue Boar (Chipping Norton)

In current period Young’s has acquired the Station Tavern in Cambridge and exchanged contracts on the Riverstation in Bristol.

The group said it had also started working with Berkeley Homes to create two new pubs at the Woodberry and Kidbrooke developments.

Chief executive Patrick Dardis said: “I am very pleased with this set of results. We have delivered sector-leading like-for-like growth of over 5% for the fifth summer in a row, as well as maintaining our operating margin. We have generated sufficient cash to allow us to invest heavily in our estate and increase the dividend for the 20th consecutive year whilst reducing our net debt.

“Behind our success lies years of investment to create one of the highest quality pub estates in the UK. This has created hundreds of new jobs and we have trained thousands of people, contributing to our local communities and to the economy as a whole.

“We continue to innovate to attract existing and new customers to our pubs and hotels. We have rolled out our very successful BurgerShack concept to 21 pubs, we are embracing the newfound British love for brunch, and we have just launched “Young’s on Tap”, an app that makes the experience of a Young’s pub even better.

“There are challenges ahead: the uncertainty over Brexit and cost pressures such as the National Living Wage, the apprenticeship levy, and on a successful company like us, an exceptionally high increase in business rates. However, we will continue to stick to our winning strategy and grow our premium business by investing in our existing estate, acquiring new pubs and developing our people.

“We have a proven strategy and an outstanding and well-invested estate, we also have the financial and management capacity to grow and there is real energy in our people across the business to take Young’s forward. We therefore feel confident about the future.”

 

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