Shepherd Neame toasts success

Shepherd Neame, the Kent-based brewer of the Spitfire and Asahi ales, yesterday reported record sales and a 40 per cent leap in profits to £9.1m in the year to July. The company bought seven pubs and hotels over the period, leading to a 10 per cent rise in turnover to £133m. Chief executive Jonathan Neame said his strategy of investing in a downturn had paid off.