Pubs are go: Britain’s oldest brewer Shepherd Neame shrugs off strikes and inflation in eight per cent revenue rise
Britain’s oldest brewer Shepherd Neame has said consumer spending in the wake of the costs of living crisis has “remained strong” as the group posts strong revenues for the 26 weeks to December 2022.
The listed pubs group, which operates around London and the South East, posted revenues of £85.3m up 8.4 per cent from £78.4m in the same period last year.
The hospitality group said a hot summer and “progressive return to offices” within the City of London also helped rake in pre-tax profits of £3.5m.
However, for the Christmas trading period, Shepherd Neame balmed train strikes for a decline in large parties which it usually sees over the festive season – as a result, total beer volume was down 0.9 per cent and accommodation sales were down 8.6 per cent.
Jonathan Neame, CEO of Shepherd Neame, said: “We have an excellent pub estate with considerable potential, well established brands, a loyal customer base, and a high profile within the individual communities we serve.
“All these factors will stand us in good stead as the cost of living crisis eases and the economy returns to growth.”
While soaring inflation and living costs have hindered pub trade, Shepherd Neame said for the 12 weeks to 18 March, retail like-for-like sales were up 12.8per cent compared to the same period in 2022.
The chief also said said he welcomed the new ‘Brexit Pubs Guarantee’ which was announced in Hunt’s budget last week. The move will see Beer and other draught products in pubs will be 11p cheaper than in supermarkets.
Shepherd Neame operates 319 pubs and hotels across London and the South East,