Birmingham-based cider maker Aston Manor Brewery saw a slight dip in pre-tax profits in 2010, despite turnover rising 49.8% to £79,253,019. The company, whose brands include Frosty Jack’s and Kingstone Press, reported pre-tax profit down 2.6% to £4,255,310. Aston Manor reported two major exceptional items for the year: an assets impairment charge of £262,086 and a £582,221 write down in relation to its purchase of the Devon Cider Company, now in liquidation. Interest payments were also significantly higher in 2010 - £394,914, against £161,923 in 2009. Operating profit increased 8.5% to £4,912,310, with underlying operating profit before tax up 21% to £5.5m. Gross profit increased 40% to £13,336,078. The company, for which former Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis holds a controlling stake, said: “2010 was another outstanding year for Aston Manor Brewery, despite the difficult environment. We have once again delivered double-digit growth in both revenue and profitability.” A dividend of £5m was paid in the year (2009: £0.6m). The company said raw material cost inflation is a “key challenge for the cider industry”. “Whilst we are not immune to these pressures, we continue to exert tight control over these costs. “Nonetheless, we are experiencing yet further revenue growth in the first half of 2011, and as such the directors continue to be optimistic for the business results in 2011 and beyond.”