Exeter-based Heavitree Brewery has seen a dip in half-year profits, but expects improvements made to its pub estate in the run up to the England smoking ban to boost its fortunes.
Heavitree said it continued to trade well with turnover for the six months ended 30 April at £6.2m (2006: £6.1m).
Pre-tax profits slipped from £1.1m a year ago to £796,000 due to the exceptional gain made in the previous period from cashing in a stake in Hampshire rival Gales after it was snapped up by pub company Fuller's in a £91.8m deal in November 2005.
On the 1 May Nicholas Tucker, previously managing director Heavitree, became chairman after his father William Tucker retired at the age of 73.
Graham Crocker, who had been finance director, has stepped up to the managing director's role while retaining financial responsibilities.
By Christopher Walton