UK independent brewing force, Young's, posted sales of £106.3m in the year to the end of March, the first time the company has exceeded the £100m mark. This represented a 10% improvement on last year's sales of £96.9m but pre-tax profits fell from £13m to £11.9m.

However, the previous year's pre-tax profit figure had been buoyed by £1.8m of exceptional gains, against only £227,000 of such exceptionals this year. The dividend was set at 20.35p, up 5.4%.

Beer production at Yong's rose by 9.4%, with take-home beer volumes up by almost 31%. The company also invested a further £13.3m in its pub chain, buying nine new outlets and spending £9.3m on refurbishing existing pubs.