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Mon 8th Jul 2013 - Breaking News - Wadworth reports fall in pre-tax profit
Wadworth reports fall in pre-tax profit: Brewer and retailer Wadworth & Co has reported a fall in its pre-tax profit after a “disappointing” period during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games - £3,438,000 in the year to 30 September 2012 compared to £4,176,000 the year before. However, its profit before interest was slightly ahead at £4,147,000 compared to £4,117,000 the year before. The Devizes-headquartered company, which has 44 managed pubs and 197 tenanted sites, reported turnover rose to £55,231,000 compared to £55,027,000 the year before. Chairman Charles Bartholomew said: “The third quarter was affected by the exceptionally poor weather and, like others, our pub trading during the period of the Olympics and Para-Olympics was disappointing so our results were (lower) than in the comparable quarter last year. However, we made up the deficit with a strong performance in the last quarter which is encouraging.” The company’s tenanted estate ended up 1% (£55,000) on a like-for-like basis thanks to a “small increase in wholesale income, a small decline in rental income and some savings on overheads”. Four pubs transferred from managed to tenancy showed an improved performance. He added: “A total of £1.1m was invested in 16 capital schemes within the estate. (This is) lower than in the past but shows the stricter controls which are in place for return on capital. I am encouraged that we have achieved stability in the estate with tenant churn reducing significantly from previous years.” Managed pubs saw a 5% increase in sales but retail profit fell back after experiencing “tighter margins” and higher utility costs. It bought the Hadley Bowling Green in between Worcester and Droitwich last July and it is trading ‘above expectations’. A total of £1.3m was invested in the managed estate. Freetrade and national sales fell 3.5% in volume terms, which is “in line with the market”. “Some of this was due to bad weather as we supply a large number of country pubs but margins were also tighter,” said Bartholomew. Own beer sales were level but its new Corvus stout is ‘gaining sales’. Of 2013, he added: “The outlook for 2013 is challenging as consumer spending is still subdued. We have introduced segmentation into the managed estate so customers will have a better understanding of what the offering is in each house. Food and drink margins are a priority as there is still growth to be had and we can have more control over this area.” Former chief executive of Gales Brewery Nigel Atkinson became a non-executive director at the end of last year. Marketing activity is planning for the company’s flagship brand, 6X, which it hopes will drive its distribution and sales. The business has also amalgamated its national and free trade sales teams and has a new take home manager, who has the target of increasing the distribution of all its main lines into the supermarkets.

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