UK: Belhaven sales defy the weather

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Sales in the first half of this year have exceeded expectations for Belhaven Group. The brewer and pub operator said that both Belhaven Pubs and Belhaven Drinks performed well despite the poor weather during the summer months.

"Margins have held up well throughout the business and costs have been effectively controlled," the group said in a trading statement ahead of interim results due on 29 November.

It added that its pub acquisition programme is on track to meet the targets set last summer.

"We hope to expand our portfolio to 300 units by the end of calendar year 2005.

"Current trends underpin the board's confidence in our strategy and our confidence that we will achieve our immediate objective of delivering a fifteenth year of uninterrupted growth in both sales and profits," the company added.

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