Pub operator Young & Co today said food sales across its managed estate have been a significant "growth driver" helping to offset a loss in turnover from the company's brewery operation after the sale of its Wandsworth-based Ram brewery last year.
Food sales increased 33% in the year to 31 March, accounting for 23.6% of its total managed sales.
Young's said that following the merging of its brewing and wholesaling activities with Bedford-based Charles Wells, its focus is now "firmly" on its retail activities. It added that these performed particularly well in the second half of the year.
Chief executive Stephen Goodyear said: "Young's has been transformed over the past year. The substantial changes we have made to the business, together with the improving returns we are getting from ongoing investment in our estate, are clearly evident in our underlying results, particularly in our second half trading."
Young's turnover for the 12 months to 31 March rose 2.2% to £126.6m, with sales from its retail operations up 15.3% to £113.3m. Pre-tax profits for the year grew 18.5% to £12m.
Sales at the group's 114 managed pubs increased 18.1% to £98.6m, with operating profits up 17.6% while its 102 tenanted and leased pubs saw sales drop 0.6% to £14.7m, with a 4.6% increase in like-for-like profits.
By Kerstin Kühn