McMullen reports 22% pre-tax profit rise: Hertford-based brewer and retailer McMullen has reported a 22% increase in pre-tax profit to £9.2m for the 52 weeks to 27 September, 2014. Turnover increased 7.38% to £72,483,000. Like-for-like sales in managed houses were up 3.5% with total sales, across all managed houses, up by 6.4%. Chairman Charles Brims said: “This good performance was driven, as in the previous year, by successful pub acquisitions and by further growth in like-for-like sales in our retail pub estate. Sustained growth depends on successful acquisitions and developments. I am, therefore, pleased to report that we have acquired the Lord Moon of the Mall in Whitehall. The three new pubs opened in the previous year (Baroosh in Marlow, Britannia in Marlow, and the Coach and Horses in Bishop’s Stortford) all performed well and the two new pubs, opened during the year (The Prince George in Milton Keynes and The Kingfisher near Camberley), are both trading very strongly and well ahead of expectations.” Managing director Peter Furness-Smith added: “This good performance has enabled us to continue refurbishing more of our existing pubs that have the potential to attract a growing number of customers. This investment programme was in part funded by the sale of six pubs which had both an insufficient and declining customer base. It is therefore vital that companies like McMullen’s are able to realise the value of such pubs so as to recycle the proceeds into new pubs with future potential. With declining ‘on trade’ beer volumes on top of a circa 50% decline over the last 20 years, it is inevitable that a significant number of pubs will cease to be viable. Making it difficult for companies to realise the value of such pubs is a worrying development and not in keeping with a government that claims to promote enterprise and job creation.” Growth in comparable sales in the current financial year has proved to be more challenging with like-for-like sales up 2.1% after 34 weeks. “Our London pubs and those where we have invested for the future continue to trade well and we are particularly pleased with the way a formerly vacant pub in Royston, now called The Jolly Postie, is performing,” said Furness-Smith.
Ping Pong reports operating profit in transformational year: Ping Pong, led by Tim Thorpe, has reported a profit from operations of £266,987 in the year to 29 Match 2015 compared to a loss of £622,425 the year before. The operating profit came after paying trademark royalties of £441,956. Turnover was up by 9% to £15,244,430 compared to £13,924,810 the year before. Profit before tax was £19,000 compared to a loss of £1,487,000 the year before. Like-for-like sales increased by 11.5% and a 35% boost to restaurant Ebitda. In Companies House accounts, the company stated: “The company will look to build on this transformational year and is considering various opportunities in areas with the required demographic density.”