Regional brewer and pub operator, Shepherd Neame, reported a 12.6% rise in trading profits to £7.7m for the 12 months to June 29, on sales 10% higher at £78.8m. However, the company recorded lower gains from property deals which restricted growth at the pre-tax level. Pre-tax profits rose by 2% to £8.4m.

Making a substantial contribution to turnover growth was the company's real ale brand, Spitfire, which recorded a 29% rise in volumes. The company is soon to launch a TV ad campaign for the brand.

"Fundamentally, the outlook is good with growth from our leading beer Spitfire and from our managed pubs," said the company's managing director, Jonathan Neame. Shepherd Neame said its 22 managed pubs in London had recorded sales growth of only 3% over the year but growth had picked up to 6% in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.