LONDON pub chain Young’s reported profit before tax rose four per cent for the first half of the year to £11.9m despite a period of mixed trading with the first three months benefiting from better weather than the second. However, while it remained positive about its outlook for the full-year it said the government’s austerity programme gave it reason for some caution.
The brewery said the increase in profit reflected strong performance from its hotel chain and increased profits at brewers Wells & Young’s, in which it has a 40 per cent stake, which contributed £2.1m to overall profit. The results prompted a modest increase in the share dividend of two per cent to 6.36p per share.
Revenue growth was however modest at just 0.7 per cent to £67.7m while net debt remained almost unchanged at £62.6m despite Young’s investment of £8.2m in the business.
The brewery said despite the difficult economic environment it had stuck to its strategy and not adopted heavy discounting measures to drive liquor sales. Youngs also said its pensions deficit had fallen to £13.5m as a result of additional payments made into the fund during the period.
Stephen Goodyear, chief executive of Young’s, said the results reflected the resilient performance of its pubs while its hotels, which had recently been the subject of management attention, had shown particularly positive growth.
“The second half has started positively with managed house revenue up 3.4 per cent in total and up 1.8 per cent on a like-for-like basis,” he added.
Separately, Capital Pub Company said revenue rose 18 per cent to £13.1m in the first half, while pre-tax profit rose 45 per cent to £2m.