Arkell's sees slight turnover and profit increase despite tax burden
Swindon-based brewer and pub company Arkell's saw its profit and turnover for the year to 31 March 2012 remain broadly flat, as it grappled with high taxes and increased competition from the growing number of smaller breweries.
The family-owned firm's turnover rose 3% to £18.7m for the year, while its pre-tax profit before exceptional items was up 1% to £1.8m.
Chairman Jakes Arkell said it had been a "long and difficult year" for the company and its tenants. "We have to cope with higher taxes from government in the form of increased VAT and duty which continues to increase at 2% above inflation every year. We have become a collector of enormous taxes which are causing such damage to the brewing industry. In 2012, we paid £539,000 of duty, £345,000 of employers' national insurance, £352,000 of corporation tax and £1,829,125 of VAT," he said.
As a result, the company, which has around 100 pubs, has shifted its focus to concentrate on investing in more rooms and the provision of food to increase profitability. It bought two pubs during the year - the King's Arms in Malmesbury, and the Fox & Hounds in Haydon Wick. The company has also sold three pubs and has a further five on the market.
Meanwhile, James Arkell said that sales director Nicholas Arkell was positive about the prospects of the free trade business, following the promotion of local club Swindon Town FC to League One.
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By Neil Gerrard
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