The UK regional brewing and pub force, Hardys & Hansons, has reported profit before tax and exceptionals of £6.4m for the first half of the year, up from £5.6m in the corresponding period last year.

Pre-tax profit for the six months to April 4 reached £10.6m, against £6m in the first half last year. Operating profit rose by 11% to £6.2m on turnover also 11% up at £33.7m.

Hardys said like-for-like sales had increased across all channels but that first-half profit had been marginally affected by the timing of the Easter holiday. The company said it hopes to see the benefit of brand development investment kicking in during the second half.