Young’s has reported like for like sales at its managed house estate were down 2.1% for the first 12 weeks of 2019, blaming poor weather.

The brewery and pub operator said by comparison, this time last year, like for like sales were up 5.2% in its managed houses.

According to a statement to the Stock Exchange: “When we reported our results in May, we stated that it had been a tough start to the year, with the only good weather coming over the Easter bank holiday. That pattern of poor weather has continued with an inevitable effect on our performance.”

Though like for like sales were down, managed house sales for the first 13 weeks are up 4.4% in total.

The group expects to benefit from acquisitions made last year, principally the 15-strong Redcomb group of pubs.

Young’s has also made major investments in hotels The Park in Teddington and The Bridge in Chertsey, which it expects to boost trading.

During the year the group has opened The Depot in Kidbrooke Village and transferred The New Inn in Ealing from the Ram Pub Company into the managed house division, with a planned refurbishment.

“These new investments, along with other investment made last year in our existing estate, will create momentum and provide a helpful tailwind for continued growth as we compete against last year’s strong comparatives,” the statement continued.

“We are, of course, also looking forward to the Rugby World Cup 2019 this autumn and the warm-up fixtures over the summer, two of which are at Twickenham. Despite the early morning kick-off times for the tournament, we expect it to be good for trade.

“We are very confident about the enduring quality of our business and will continue to invest in the existing estate, in technology and in our people. We remain positive about the year ahead and will update shareholders further at the half year.”

The trading update was announced ahead of Young & Co.’s Brewery’s annual general meeting, due to be held today.