Shepherd Neame reports turnover growth in all divisions in First Half: Shepherd Neame, Britain’s oldest brewer and owner of 320 pubs in Kent and the south east, has reported turnover growth in all divisions for the 26 weeks ended 28 December 2019. Turnover in the period increased to £79.0m (2018: £76.5m), up by 3.3%. Underlying operating profit was up 1.1% at £8m (2018: £7.9m) and underlying profit before tax was up +4.8% to £6.2m (2018: £5.9m) benefitting from lower interest charges. Statutory profit before tax was £5.4m (2018: loss of £4.1m). Managed pubs (69) achieved a solid performance with total managed sales up by +4.3% to £37.0m (2018: £35.5m). Like-for-like sales were up by 0.9% against strong comparatives in the prior year (2018: +4.1%). Average income per managed pub grew by 1.4% (2018: +8.5%).Tenanted pubs (239) continued to trade strongly despite fewer pubs with the average income per tenanted pub up by 5% (2018: +4.0%). Divisional underlying operating profit was up 1.7% to £6.7m (2018: £6.6m). Like-for-like tenanted pub income grew by 2.9% (2018: +2.2%). Own brand beer and cider volume grew ahead of the market at +3.3% (2018: -1.0%) during the period (versus market growth of +2.6%). Divisional turnover grew by +3.5%, underlying operating profit was £0.4m (2018: £0.5m). Jonathan Neame, chief executive, said: “Shepherd Neame continues to benefit from a well-balanced business. These results demonstrate the strength of our tenanted pubs in a period where managed margin was held back by the challenging cost environment. We are pleased to see that own brand beer and cider volume is outperforming the market. As a result of this strategy we again have delivered a solid performance in the first half. For the rest of the year, we remain concerned about the potential impact of the Covid-19 virus. We have seen no discernible change in customer behaviour to date. Looking forward it is impossible at this stage to gauge the likely impact, but should there be significant restrictions on travel and the movement of people in the coming months, that would have an inevitable bearing on our business and our supply chain. Over the longer term, the quality and profile of the company’s brands and pubs will stand us in good stead and form an excellent platform from which to grow. We are confident we are building an even stronger business for the future.” For the 35 weeks to 29 February 2020, managed pub like-for-like sales were up 0.6% with like-for-like tenanted pub income up 2.6%. Own brand beer and cider volumes were up 4.4%
Former Scottish & Newcastle boss opens Edinburgh Beer Factory’s first retail site via new partnership: Edinburgh Beer Factory, the craft brewery owned by John Dunsmore, former chief executive of Scottish & Newcastle and C&C Group, has opened its first retail site. Edinburgh Beer Factory has partnered with Nonna’s Kitchen owner Gino Stornaiuolo for the project. Paolozzi Restaurant & Bar has launched in a former Royal Bank of Scotland branch in Forrest Road. The venture combines beer, food and art to “celebrate the Scot and wider Italian Scottish culture”. The menu, developed by Stornaiuolo, features antipasti, salads and cheese plates. There is also Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizza and classic larger plates. Dunsmore launched Edinburgh Beer Factory in his home city with wife Lynne and daughter Kirsty in 2015. The micro-brewery is housed in a converted industrial unit in west Edinburgh and produces craft lager Paolozzi, which is named after an Edinburgh artist.