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Thu 26th Jun 2014 - Breaking News - Wadworth reports profit boost in consolidation year
Wadworth reports profit boost in consolidation year: Devized-based brewer and retailer Wadworth has reported a rise in pre-tax profit to £3,987,000 in the year to 30 September 2013, up from £3,438,000 the year before. Turnover climbed £880,000 to £56,111,000 and operating profit before exceptional items rose 1.4% to £4,205,000. Chairman Charles Bartholomew said: “Investments we made at the end of last year and during the early part of this year have given good returns in both managed and tenanted estates. The Wadworth pub estate is predominantly country destination food-led and as such is very weather dependent. To reduce this reliance, a large proportion of the pub investment planned for next year is to create more internal covers plus the upgrade and addition of letting rooms. The three pubs we purchased last year, The Hedley Bowling Green near Worcester (managed), the Fish Inn at Ringwood (tenanted) and the Green Dragon at Brook in the New Forest (tenanted) have all traded well and are ahead of expectations. Beer sales remain challenging but we continue to outperform the market. As planned, our distribution agreement with KNDL, which started in November 2012, has provided substantial savings in costs and overheads and given us the ability to extend our free trade base into London and across the whole of the south east.” The company runs 45 managed pubs and 190 tenanted sites, selling seven pubs in the year. Its managed pubs, where it invested £2,116,000 in the year, had a “poor first half”, down 17.1% but the second half was “much better” and ended up “just slightly behind 2012”. Wadworth refurbished 45 bedrooms at three of its managed pubs – and, most recently, added nine bedrooms to its Crown at Tolldown, just off the M4, opening the rooms in April this year. The company said it had focused on three initiatives: increased training in coffee delivery, which has produced a 14% increase in sales, training to improve the customer experience and a segmentation exercise of the managed estate to allow a more focused food and drink offering. Wadworth’s tenanted estate saw a 1.3% increased contribution, mainly attributable to “a stable estate with fewer changes and some excellent appointments”. Rental income grew by over 2% and £1,516,000 was invested. On the beer side, 150 new accounts were opened in the year. The company added: “Corvus stout continues to makes strides in the market, gaining distribution with a number of independent customers and is on trial in national pub companies.” It concluded: “This has been a year of consolidation and with improved trade we have increased our investment in our core estate. We have a further five tenanted pubs for sale and two more to transfer from management to tenancy. Our aim is to have a smaller tenanted estate of better quality pubs.”
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