Focus on food and investment in managed estates help Young's deliver growth

23 May 2006
Focus on food and investment in managed estates help Young's deliver growth

A focus on food and investment in its core pub estate helped London's Young's achieve growth in a tough market in the year to 1 April.
The independent brewer and pub company, which today announced a joint venture with Charles Wells, invested £10.8m in its 112-strong managed estate during the year.

This, and a focus on food that pushed sales up 10% in the 12 months, saw turnover at the managed estate increase 3.2% during the year and profit by 6.5%.

In comparison, turnover was practically flat at Young's 96 tenanted pubs, up 0.1% year-on-year, although profit increased 5.9%.

Overall, it was enough to lift group turnover 3.6% to £123.9m and pre-tax profit, excluding exceptional costs including the move to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), by 1.8% to £10.3m.

Stephen Goodyear, Young's chief executive, said: "We have produced a resilient performance, particularly in retail, in a year of considerable change, which included new licensing laws, our transfer to AIM as well as the uncertainty surrounding our future brewing operations."

Goodyear said retail sales in the first seven weeks of the new year had got off to a strong start, with like-for-like growth of 10.7%.

Young's will open three managed riverside pubs this year in London's Battersea, Vauxhall and Fulham at a total cost of £9.6m.

By Chris Druce

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