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Wed 15th Jun 2016 - McMullen reports profit passes £10m
McMullen reports profit passes £10m: Hertfordshire brewer and retailer McMullen has reported profit before tax rose 12.5% to £10.4m in the 52 weeks to 26 September, 2015. Turnover was up 4.03% to £75.4m. Chairman Charles Brims said: “This is another good performance and was driven, once again, by successful pub acquisitions and refurbishments together with a 4.2% growth in like-for-like sales in our existing retail pubs. Our two new pubs opened in the previous year (the Kingfisher in Camberley and the Prince George in Milton Keynes) and our two existing pubs refurbished that year (the Angels in Hitchin and the Red Lion in Hatfield) all performed well. We are also pleased to have acquired a well-located large London pub, the Lord Moon of the Mall in Whitehall. Looking ahead, we have, subject to the uncertainties of the planning system, several newbuild pubs in the pipeline. Our investment in new and existing pubs, combined with the good start to the current year, the development of our new pub and family golf centre at Chadwell Springs and continued investment in people, should ensure continuing success.” Joint managing director Tom McMullen added: “Our tenanted division had another good year with like-for-like beer and cider sales up 2.5%. The company supports and thanks hard-working tenants and returned over 25% of its income earned from beer and cider sales back to its tenants by way of discounts. It was an excellent performance so it was a pleasure to award bonus cheques to a number of tenants who had performed particularly well over the year, with one recipient receiving over £9,000.” Fellow joint managing director Peter Furness-Smith added: “In this current year, the refurbishments in 2015 at the Millstream, Hitchin; The Queen Victoria, Theydon Bois; The Saracens, Ware; and the post-acquisition refurbishment of the Jolly Postie in Royston are overall exceeding our initial expectations. It is also pleasing to report year to date like-for-like sales growth in retail pubs of 4.8% with a continuing strong performance in food sales growth of over 8%. This is only sustainable when customers consistently experience friendly hospitable service and excellent value for money so a special thank you to all our pub teams and their managers for this ongoing performance.”

Cask Marque launches star rating system for beer quality: Industry watchdog Cask Marque has launched a “Scores on the Cellar Doors” star rating system for beer quality. Accreditation costs £25 plus VAT a year and Cask Marque said it hoped the system would become as trusted as food hygiene ratings. Cask Marque said its Quality Report 2016 revealed one in three pints were served through unclean beer lines, a third of glassware was dirty, and yields could be improved across the industry by 2%, meaning pubs were losing up to £10,620 a year in beer sales. Cask Marque said a number of pubcos had already signed up to the system, including Stonegate, Timothy Taylor, Arkells, Bermondsey Pub Co (Enterprise Inns), Brakspear, Butcombe, Peach, and Remarkable Pubs. Cask Marque director Paul Nunny said: “With beer sales in the on-trade having a resurgence, now is the time to grasp the opportunity to capitalise on the beer category. We need to learn from our current performance and not be in denial. Bottom-line profitability is key to the success of the pub and the (Scores on the Cellar Doors system) is a solution that is in our own hands.”

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