Young's sales increase as heatwave drives Britons to the pub

 
Caitlin Morrison
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Youngs owns the Lamb Tavern in Leadenhall Market (Source: Young & Co's Brewery)

Young & Co's Brewery has enjoyed a boost in sales driven by the recent better-than-expected weather - but the group's chairman slammed the government for making life difficult for the pub sector.

Revenues were up 10.8 per cent in the first 13 weeks of the year, and up 8.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis, the firm said in a statement released ahead of its annual general meeting today.

Shares in the group dipped 1.3 per cent in early trading.

"The dry and warm weather in April and the longest continuous hot spell in June for over 40 years has particularly benefitted our beautiful gardens and river based pubs," said Youngs' chairman Stephen Goodyear.

Youngs has "set the bar higher... while the economic environment is becoming more challenging", he continued.

"Nor is the government making life much easier for our sector, with additional cost pressures from increased business rates, the National Living Wage, the Apprenticeship Levy and the general uncertainty created first by Brexit and more recently by the outcome of the General Election," Goodyear said.

"However, I am confident that the expertise and energy that exists throughout Young's and our very deliberate strategic positioning gives us the armoury to continue our outperformance of the sector. We operate very much at the premium end of the sector and the resilience of this segment's customer base has, so far, been encouraging.

"Consumers, when they do go out, are looking for an experience and going to a Young's pub is seen as an affordable lifestyle choice - a treat but not an extravagance. Long may that continue."

He added that the company was benefitting from four acquisitions made last year. Since the start of the year, Youngs has exchanged on the Bull, in Bracknell, which will open in September and also transferred three tenanted pubs into its managed house estate: the Hope & Anchor (Brixton), Kings Arms (Wandsworth) and the Grove (Camberwell).

"These additions, along with other investments made in our existing estate last year, will provide a helpful tailwind for continued growth," said Goodyear.

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