South-east pub group Young's has seen its sales rocket in the past year, while rivals have seen sales stagnate in the face of falling consumer spending and the smoking ban.
Young's saw turnover rise 6.6% to £122.m, with pre-tax profit up 40.9% to £32.3m. Food sales grew by 16% in the year ending 29 March.
The group, with has 116 managed houses and 103 tenancies and leases, said that trading in its managed pubs during April and May 2008 had been 3.4% ahead of last year.
This was in contrast to predictions this week from trade body the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) that the bad weather over the bank holiday weekend had kept customers away from pubs in the south.
Stephen Goodyear, chief executive of Young's, said: "Whilst the short-term pressures facing the business and the wider UK economy are likely to continue to be challenging, we believe that we are in a strong position to meet them."
Young's invested £9.4m during the past year into its managed estate as well as spending £26.6m on new sites.
Sales in its managed pubs have risen by 8.1% as the company has looked to the premium end of the pub market introducing menus with an emphasis on provenance, locally produced foods and healthy ingredients.
Revenue per available room in its 351 hotel rooms was up 4.7% to £42.04.
By Chris Druce
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