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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 12th Jun 2023 - Robinsons sales overtake pre-pandemic levels, Everards agrees new five-year banking facility
Robinsons sales up almost 20% to £83m, overtaking pre-pandemic levels, seeking to ‘acquire pubs or small pub groups’: North west brewer and retailer Robinsons has reported sales up almost 20% to £83m, overtaking pre-pandemic levels, and said it is seeking to “acquire pubs or small pub groups”. The Stockport-based sixth-generation family brewer saw revenue rise from £63.3m to £83.1m in the year to 31 December 2022, compared to £75m in pre-pandemic 2019. The increase in turnover delivered an operating profit of £5.9m, while £7.7m was spent on the development and improvement of 40 sites, up from £2.8m in 2021. This included £3.9m spent across its tenanted estate, with significant investments at the Shoulder of Mutton in Chapel-en-le-Frith and the Church House in Buglawton. A £3.8m investment across its managed house division included the Tatton Arms near Manchester Airport and the Waggon and Horses in Eaton. The company also acquired two new premises for its managed house division during the year, The Woodman Inn in Thunderbridge, West Yorkshire, and Hartford Hall near Northwich. The year also saw its brewhouse plans come to fruition as construction work began at the Unicorn Packaging Centre in Bredbury, with plans for the new site to be operational by 2024. The company, which operates 249 tenanted and managed pubs, also recently further consolidated its family shareholder base by concluding a share buyback. Joint managing directors Oliver and William Robinson said: “2022 was a year of challenges across our sector and across the UK. Although we had the first full year without significant coronavirus restrictions in place, we faced new challenges. Brexit arrangements impacted on worker availability, the lasting impact of the pandemic and the cost increases caused by the war in Ukraine hitting utility and food costs particularly hard. We saw our business affected by difficulties in recruiting new team members across all areas of the business, from chefs to engineers. Like many businesses, these pressures have driven up our operating costs. We have risen to this challenge and are investing in our systems and processes to improve efficiency and performance across the business, while simultaneously developing our consumer offering and our learning and development programme. We feel confident our business is well placed to develop and continue strengthening and investing over the coming years. The conclusion of the buyback of a number of shares from family branches less directly connected to the operation of the business is a significant moment for the business and family. It is the first time since the company was founded such an exercise has been undertaken. We are committed to continuing investment in our pub portfolio during 2023 and will continue to seek to acquire pubs, or small pub groups, in exceptional trading or idyllic locations which align with our future business vision.” Robinsons features in the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book, the latest edition of which was sent to Premium subscribers on Friday, 9 June. Its turnover of £83.1m is the 84th highest in the database. The Blue Book ranks companies by turnover, profit and profit conversion, listing directors’ earnings for the past five years. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £995 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The single subscription rate is £495 plus VAT for operators and £595 plus VAT for suppliers. Email to upgrade your subscription.

Everards agrees new five-year banking facility after returning to profit as turnover more than doubles: Leicestershire brewer and retailer Everards has agreed a new five-year banking facility after returning to profit in the year ending 30 September 2022, as turnover more than doubled. The new funding package, with Lloyds Bank, will run to June 2028. It comes after the business reported a pre-tax profit of £2.7m for the year, up from a loss of £3.5m in 2021, while turnover increased from £15m in 2021 to £31.4m. The company said its 154-pub estate has recovered well since the end of the pandemic, with like for like profit growth to June 2023 of 6.3%, and it continues to work closely with all its business owners, particularly around handling inflationary challenges. In addition to targeted support with utilities costs, Everards has contained draught drinks price increases of 4.3% to business owners. The new breweries (main and small batch) at Everards Meadows, the business’s new 90-acre development, have resulted in like for like sales growth to June 2023 of 12.7%, including 11% cask growth. Investment in the pub estate has also increased, with £2.2m allocated between September 2022 and June 2023 into refurbishments, repairs and compliance works. Everards Meadows, which launched in Summer 2021, is performing well, with its beer hall, shop and brewery tours “well received by customers”. In the nine months to June 2023, the venues sales of £2.4m are 11% ahead of the prior year. In November 2022, Everards secured planning permission to turn 150,000 square feet of its remaining six acres of development land as space for a hotel, office, leisure, hospitality or education destination and is currently exploring what will best complement Everards Meadows as a best-in-class leisure and tourism site. Chairman Julian Everard said: “Hospitality is currently an extremely challenging trading environment. However, our collaborative approach and the hard work of my colleagues and business owners is delivering beyond expectations to their customers and communities.  Our model of investment into our team, our business owners, our pubs and our beers will continue to deliver fantastic community experiences and sustainable business models for both ourselves, and more importantly, our business owners.”

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