Southwold: Adnams posts improved first-half profit

SOUTHWOLD brewing and leisure retail group Adnams today posted increased pre-tax profits for the first half of 2011, despite “difficult” trading in much of the pubs sector.

Revenues for the six months to June 30 grew by 6% on last year’s first half, from �23.12million to �24.51million, although the company said the month-by-month performance had been highly variable.

Operating profit dipped by 1.7%, from �826,000 to �812,000, but the pre-tax figure came in 9.2% ahead at �700,000, against �641,000 for last year’s first half, largely reflecting reduced interest charges.

Company chairman Jonathan Adnams said the difficult trading conditions in the pub company sector seen last year had continued and acquisitions by other brewers – resulting in Adnams being locked-out from supplying the pubs acquired – had also represented a challenge.

However, Mr Adnams said the company’s own tenanted estate had “so far enjoyed a rather better 2011” following a difficult 2010, with own beer volumes 4.5% up on last year’s first half, and Adnams’ take-home beer business had also experienced a good first six months,with volumes up 17%.

The overall volume of own beer sold was 2.5% up, he added, with volumes of Bitburger lager, for which Adnams is UK distributor, 4.4% ahead.

Adnams’ hotels in Southwold, the Swan and the Crown, had experienced “changeable” trading conditions, with May and June being “notably tough” after a strong April when trade was boosted by exceptionally warm weather.

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Mr Adnams added that the company’s wine and shops business had enjoyed a “very strong” first half in revenue terms, with shop sales up by 22% in total and by 14% on a like-for-like basis, excluding the new Norwich shop, although profitability was “slightly behind” 2010.