Kentish brewer and pub operator Shepherd Neame has forked out £100,000 in the past year on training and red tape to do with alcohol licensing.
But despite this and other regulatory pressures surrounding alcohol, the environment and social responsibilities the independent said it remained confident of further growth.
Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame said: "Pubs continue to suffer from excessive regulation and government initiatives all of which bear a cost.
"We have now completed the first full financial] year under the new Licensing Act. In general we have established a good working relationship with the relevant authorities and a much closer engagement with the communities that our pubs serve."
The company also insisted that it had felt no material impact from either the smoking ban; the poor summer weather or the current credit crisis squeeze on customer spend.
Total sales in the year to 30 June at its managed pubs division grew 5.7% with food sales up 7.1%. Food now accounts for more than a quarter (27%) of sales in its managed estate.
Tenanted pubs saw their like-for-like sales increase 6.2%. Rent contributions were up 5.7%.
Overall sales, including brewing, were up by 4.9% to £100m, with pre-tax profits up by 3.3% to £11.6m.
The company now has 376 pubs in the South-east of which 327 are tenanted and 48 managed. It also has 214 rooms in hotels linked to pubs.
During the year the company bought 16 freehold pubs for a total of £16.4m and sold seven for £2.9m.
By Christopher Walton
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