Growing beer sales and a return to profit for its shop business has helped Suffolk brewer, distiller and retailer Adnams increase its sales 9.1% to £66m.
Reporting its annual results for the year to 31 December 2014, Adnams said operating profit had climbed 14.7% to £3.8m.
Beer volumes were up 9.7% while its spirits volumes were up 37%. However, income from the company's pubs was down on the previous year, although it said that like-for-like trading in the core estate was slightly ahead.
The business sold six pubs during 2014, and two others have been sold since year end.
Adnams also owns two hotels, called the Swan and Crown, both in Southwold, and both managed by the company itself. Adnams said that trading had "notably improved" in 2014 compared to previous years, thanks to better weather, improving economic conditions, and the standards and processes that its hotel management team had put in place.
Jonathan Adnams OBE, chairman, said: "2014 was a strong year for Adnams. We recorded our highest-ever brewing year, saw continued growth in sales of our spirits and achieved profitability within our shops. We were delighted to receive a number of awards for our beers and spirits, notably the International Wine & Spirit Vodka Trophy for Adnams Longshore Vodka and Gold awards for Ghost Ship, Dry Hopped Lager and Mosaic.
"This success has continued this year with Adnams Dry Hopped Lager winning a Gold medal at the SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) Beer Competition last week. The economic outlook is by no means certain, however we are making a confident statement in announcing the start of a major and innovative project to expand and improve our brewery and distillery."
The brewery and distillery expansion will involve adding two further pot stills and extra storage tanks to the distillery, at a cost of around £500,000, with work expected to finish by January 2016.