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Fri 25th Jan 2013 - Breaking News - St Austell Brewery, Harry Ramsden’s, Camerons
St Austell Brewery buys cask beer company
Harry Ramsden’s reports increased losses
Camerons reports profits increase

St Austell Brewery strengthens its position as the south west’s beer champion with the acquisition of a specialist cask beer company: Award-winning family brewer St Austell Brewery has bought the Real Beer Company. Founded in 2009 by Martin Breading and Chris Ham, The Real Beer Company is a Devon-based specialist drinks wholesale company providing an extensive selection of cask and bottled beers as well as keg and bottled ciders for pubs and bars. The purchase of The Real Beer Company is expected to strengthen and complement St Austell Brewery’s existing composite free trade business and will give customers access to an even greater range of award-winning guest beers from across the country. James Staughton, managing director of St Austell Brewery, said: “The purchase of The Real Beer Company will firmly establish St Austell Brewery as the undisputed cask beer champion in the south west and Bristol. The acquisition means we’re able to offer existing and new customers an unrivalled range of guest ales; including our own brands and those of other brewers. It’s a very exciting time for the cask and specialist beer market which is forecast to keep growing, so we’re delighted to be able to add another string to our bow and excel against our competitors as a guest ale provider in the wholesale beer market.” St Austell Brewery completed the purchase of The Real Beer Company (for an undisclosed sum) today. Former owners, Martin Breading and Chris Ham have both joined St Austell Brewery. Ham will continue to head up the Real Beer business under St Austell Brewery’s sales director, Ian Blunt while Breading joined St Austell Brewery in 2012 in the role of national sales director driving the growth of St Austell’s own award-winning ales.

Harry Ramsden’s report lower turnover and increased losses; profit expected in 2013: Fish and chip shop chain Harry Ramsden’s has reported that it disposed of six sites in the year to 1 January 2012 at a cost of £1,160,000 but removing losses incurred at the sites in 2011 of £1,150,000. This is expected to mean the company moves to profitability this year. Turnover decreased to £15,707,934 from £18,879,874 the year before. Gross margin dropped to 38% from 43% the year before. The Harry Ramsden’s estate now stands at 22 sites. The company made a loss before tax of £2,129,019, up from £1,471,958 the year before. The company stated: “The company has made great progress since the balance sheet date in turning around the financial performance of the business, the benefits of which will be seen fully in 2013. The disposal of six loss-making sites and operational improvements have moved the business to a position where it is generating cash and is now looking to improve profitability through targeted investment in its core estate, together with expanding franchise operations and licensed retail range under third party agreements. During the turnaround period, the business has the full support of its owner to provide the required liquidity and capital expenditure to ensure the business is not only a going concern but is able to realise its full potential.” The company incurred £1,455,558 (2010- £1,290,000) of recharged management costs from its parent company, Boparan Ventures Limited.

Camerons reports turnover and profits increase: North east brewer and retailer Camerons, which owns 70 pubs, has reported pre-tax profit increased to £1,904,971 in the year to 29 April 2012, up from £1,546,582 the year before. Turnover rose to £68,975,178 from £68,024,547 the year before. Ebitda in the year increased by £800,000 to £5.9m. Net debt decreased by £2.2m to £32.3m and net debt to Ebitda levels were 5.5 at the period end compared to 6.8 in the prior period. The company said: “Recent trading within both the contract brewing and pub divisions mean the directors expect further growth for the 12 months to 28 April 2013.”

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