Scottish pub operator Maclay Inns is back in the black despite tough trading conditions for the year to 2 October 2010, as pre-tax profits hit £200,000.
The figure is a reversal on the previous year when the company made a £200,000 pre-tax loss. Operating profit in the year to October 2010 was £930,000, up 26%.
The firm, which has 26 pubs including the Clockwork Beer Co in Glasgow and the Southsider in Edinburgh, reported a 1% increase in like-for-like sales at £10.7m against the same period last year.
Managing director Steve Mallon told Caterersearch: "We are finding that the year has been characterised by running fast to stand still. With turnover being harder to grow because of the economic pressure, our focus has been on financial controls to preserve and grow the bottom line. We have introduced better tracking of procurement costs and waste costs in particular."
He added that consumer confidence in Scotland was still "relatively fragile" and that the company was working hard to create value for money to entice customers out, as well as offering greater price differentiation to appeal to a wider clientele.
In autumn 2010, Maclay Inns added the bar Uisge Beatha in Glasgow's west end to the estate it manages on behalf of Thistle Pubco III, relaunching it as DRAM! after a £500,000 investment.
Mallon indicated that the firm has more funds available to make one or two more acquisitions in 2011, with a medium-term aim to double the size of the estate over the next five years.
The firm also aims to raise its level of food sales gently as compared with wet sales. Food sales currently account for around 30% of total sales across the estate, although recently acquired sites generate as much as 40% or 50% from food sales.
Mallon added: "The outlook for 2011 remains tough but we are confident that we can continue to lead the business through these challenging times and we anticipate a good year ahead of us. Investment in the estate is also scheduled in the year ahead with acquisitions planned which will enhance earnings in future years."
By Neil Gerrard
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