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Wed 4th Dec 2013 - Breaking News - Camerons buys Head of Steam pub group
Camerons buys Head of Steam pub group: North east brewer and retailer Camerons Brewery has added seven new outlets to its retail pub estate with the purchase of The Head of Steam pub group, which takes the Camerons estate to over 75 sites. The company plans to grow to an estate of 200 pubs within five years. The new outlets, including three of The Head of Steam sites in Newcastle, Durham and Huddersfield along with iconic Newcastle pubs The Cluny, The Cluny 2, Tilley’s and Central in Gateshead, were purchased by Camerons as it looks to develop its retail pub business across the North of England. Camerons director and general manager Christopher Soley said: “We are delighted with these new additions. As a board one of our key strategic investment areas is the development of a quality, sustainable estate in both our managed and tenanted pub divisions. These new sites fit the criteria that we targeted, offering traditional cask ales, craft beers and world lagers. The seven outlets will form part of our managed group of pubs. There are no imminent plans to change the great offer radically at these sites and will be looking to adopt many of their principles into our current estate. This is the first step in developing our estate in size, quality and geography and we are looking for further sites that fit a similar model to The Head of Steam group both within our current estate and new opportunities.” The purchase of the sites has been supported by brewing partners Carlsberg UK as the two companies look to increase business together. The deal was facilitated by Newcastle advisors Watson Burton and UNW. Head of Steam was founded by Tony Brookes. Camerons reported Ebitda of £5.8m in the year to 28 April although it posted a pre-tax loss of £100,000 after impairment costs of £500,000 linked to a debt refinance and a £1.8m impairment charge relating to four sites. Turnover dropped from £21.8m to £19.8m. It reported a pre-tax profit of £1.9m in 2012. Soley, said in August: “2015 will see the company celebrate 150 years in business, and our plan is to see our brands dominate our north east heartland area and see our products available to suppliers and customers nationwide.” In its annual report, the company stated: “Pubs remain a core element of our business and therefore in parallel with the disposal of non-core assets, we have invested in an improved operational pub management team and embarked upon an acquisition strategy to acquire additional freehold and leasehold sites. Our ambitions for growth are to achieve a combined pub estate of around 200 pubs in the next 5 years. The contract brewing business remains robust and we see a significant opportunity for expanding our contract volumes in the forthcoming years. Whilst our accounts show a reduction in turnover, this is as a result of a change to the beer production mix. There has been a movement in volumes from packaged to bulk sales within the 12 months to April 2013 and these sales are moved excise duty suspended resulting in a significantly reduced turnover.”
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