The UK’s largest regional brewer Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries (W&D) has seen its operating margins rise in the year to end-September. The Midlands-based company has forecast a further improvement for the current financial year.

"We will have improved our operating margins this year and we anticipate to improve our operating margins again next year," chief executive Ralph Findlay said today.

The brewers like-for like sales in its 488 managed pubs rose 3% in the year ended September 28, better than comparable figures from rival Six Continents on Tuesday.

But some analysts have lowered their forecasts after W&D also said higher tax, pension and insurance costs would add around £2.5m ($3.9m) to its costs.