Revenues up at Slug and Lettuce owner Stonegate Pub Company

Francesca Washtell
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Slug and Lettuce is one of Stonegate's pub and bar brands (Source: Stonegate Pub Company)

Slug and Lettuce and Yates owner Stonegate Pub Company toasted healthy double-digit revenue growth in its first-half results today.

The figures

Total revenue across Stonegate's 660 managed pubs and bars was up 12.8 per cent to £342m for the 28 weeks to 10 April, up from £303m in the first half of 2015.

Like-for-like revenue increased 2.1 per cent, while like-for-like pub profit rose 10.6 per cent.

Adjusted earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) rose 21 per cent through price adjustments and the acquisition of Tattershall Castle Group.

Stonegate bought the majority of Tattershall's pubs (53 out of 62) for an undisclosed sum last September.

Like-for-like revenue was up 4.7 per cent during the Rugby World Cup and rose 5.9 per cent during the Christmas period. In the unseasonably wet second quarter and the early Easter period, which hit pubs disproportionately hard, like-for-like revenue was still up 1.4 per cent.

Read more: Easter celebrations boost leisure spending in March

Why it's important

Stonegate said it has continued to "trade well" since April and has capitalised on the Euro 2016 sports championship this summer by offering customers both Sky and BT in 394 of its pubs.

The group said this was paying off and it had seen "encouraging trading performances" during the tournament to date, while in the third quarter like-for-like sales were averaging more than five per cent.

Read more: Shepherd Neame raises glass to Enterprise home counties pubs acquisition

Stonegate is pursuing a "drink-focussed" and acquisition-led strategy. It took taken over Maclay's and TCG in July and September of last year respectively and said today £2.3m in "synergies" had been released from the acquisitions.

As well as being an industry consolidator, Stonegate has completed 240 investment projects across its portfolio averaging more than £200,000 each over the last three years. Total capital expenditure invested over the first half reached £28.3m, following 61 branch investments. ​

What Stonegate said

Chief executive Simon Longbottom said:

Stonegate has enjoyed a very strong first half in which we have maintained our mantra of sales, margin and profit growth.

I am very proud of our people and their hard work in ensuring we deliver excellent customer service day-in, day-out in our businesses.

The Maclay's and TCG businesses acquired last year have integrated well and are growing from strength to strength within the enlarged group. We continue to see good opportunities both to invest in our existing estate, as well as via selective acquisitions, as we continue with our growth strategy to build the leading, drinks-focused, nationwide, managed pub business.

In short

The Slug and Lettuce owner's first half has shown steady growth and should provide a firm foundation for its planned further expansion.