Our end of year trading statement

Thanks to everyone’s hard work and effort, we’ve had strong trading this year.

It’s the end of the 2018 financial year, which means we released our end of year trading statement this week – and it’s been a great year across the board! Here are the highlights:

  • We achieved record revenue and underlying profit before tax, which is expected to be around £104 million.
  • Turnover was up 15% to over £1.1bn.
  • Total pub sales increased 3.2% with like-for-like sales being up 1.6% in the last 10 weeks.
  • Our wet-led Taverns pubs performed strongly with managed and franchised like-for-like sales growth of 3.8%.
  • Like-for-like profit in our leased estate is around 2% up.
  • As expected, our food-led Destination pubs were impacted by poor weather in the first half-year, and weaker trading during the World Cup.
  • In Premium, Pitcher & Piano and Revere Country traded well.  Like-for-like sales were 1.2% behind last year, but have improved over the last 10 weeks.
  • Beer Company achieved strong growth with total volumes up around 47% and made significant distribution gains – we now distribute to one in four of the UK’s 46,000 pubs!
  • Sales of own and licensed brand volumes exceeded one million barrels for the first time and around 90% of ‘own brand’ volume is now sold outside of our own pubs.
  • We continue to grow our estate, opening 14 new pub-restaurants and seven lodges this year. We plan to open 10 pub-restaurants and five lodges in 2019.
  • We’ve acquired 15 former Mitchell’s & Butlers’ pubs, too. These well located, community pubs have good potential and are really complementary to our business model. We expect to complete and lease-fund this acquisition in the first half of 2019.

CEO Ralph Findlay said: ‘’2018 was a strong year for our Taverns and Beer businesses. We have seen clear benefit from our balanced portfolio having achieved good growth in wet-led pubs and from brewing, maximising the trading opportunities provided by the good summer weather and World Cup.

“This year has been transformational for our market-leading beer business, with the benefits of the acquisition of CWBB and the new distribution contracts delivering strong profit growth. Although trading in Destination food-led pubs was weaker, this predominantly reflects issues beyond our control relating to unseasonal weather extremes and the World Cup. However we are encouraged that our dining pubs are now seeing improving momentum and we expect to make further progress in 2019. We are meeting the demands of our customers and continue to manage the inflationary cost environment well, which gives us confidence for the future.’’

Take a look at the full trading statement here and keep a look out for our preliminary results on 21 November.

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