UK: Pub sales boost Shepherd Neame H1 profits

By | 18 March 2010

Shepherd Neame has helped to lift the gloom in the UK beer and pub sector by reporting sales and profits rises for its fiscal half-year.

Net sales for the six months to 26 December rose by 8% to GBP60.8m (US$93.1m), against GBP56.2m in the same period a year earlier, the Spitfire ale brewer said today (18 March).

Total beer volume sales grew by 8% for the six months, outperforming a UK beer market down in mid-single digits during the same period.

Shepherd Neame reported net profits of GBP3.65m, up from GBP2.6m last year. A one-off GBP823m gain from the sale of non-core pubs accounted for most of the increase.

Operating profits grew strongly for the half-year, to GBP6.4m from GBP5.1m, said the Kent-based brewer, which also holds import licences for Asahi Super Dry and United Breweries' Kingfisher lager.

"This has been a good trading period for the company with record turnover, record beer volume and strong net cash inflow from operating activities," said group chairman Miles Templeman.

"Nonetheless, we remain cautious about the impact on consumer expenditure of further potential rises in excise duty, VAT and other taxes over the next year or two and by the impact of further potential regulation on the sector."

Shepherd Neame said that it will continue with its plan, announced last October, to sell 35 unprofitable tenanted pubs over the next two or three years. The group has 396 pubs in its portfolio, of which 322 are tenanted or leased.

For the full announcement, click here.

Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: Asahi, United Breweries

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