UK: W&D on acquisition hunt as H1 shines
Wolverhampton & Dudley is on the look-out for further acquisitions after enjoying sales and earnings growth from both sides of the business during the first half of the year.
The UK regional brewer and pub group saw operating profit leap 18% to GBP67.2m (US$125.8m) for the six months to 1 April. First-half revenues rose 9% to GBP281.4m.
W&D said that three acquisitions inked last year - Burtonwood, Jennings Brothers and English Country Inns - had driven the strong performance, with the business also enjoying organic growth.
The company's premium ale range, including Marston's Pedigree, saw sales rise 12%, despite a declining UK beer market. Total sales from W&DB Brands, the company's beer business, rose 5%.
Turnover from W&D's Pathfinder Pubs unit, which includes the Pitcher & Piano chain, saw revenues rise by almost 4%. Sales from its Union Pub Company arm leapt 23% on the back of acquisitions.
"We aim to develop our estate through organic investment as well as through acquisition," said W&D chief executive Ralph Findlay.
"These good results are the product of combining value adding acquisitions and organic development in each of our trading divisions. Current trading in The Union Pub Company, Pathfinder Pubs and W&DB Brands has been satisfactory and in line with expectations."
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