Old
Monk, the managed pub company, has announced a 32% increase in profits for the
year to 28 April.

Pre-tax
profit rose to £1.65m, up from £1.25m last year, while turnover increased by
30% to £24.1m, up from £18.5m.

The
company is introducing improved menus to its Old Monk and Springbok pubs this
summer, which it hopes will increase food sales.

During
the year Old Monk acquired or opened six new sites. Since then it has opened a
1,200-capacity Springbok in Newquay, Cornwall, where trade in the first few
weeks is said to be good.

The
company now has 40 pubs, including six Springboks and eight pub-restaurants.

Chairman
Gerry Martin said: “We have exchanged contracts on two further sites in Preston
and Cheltenham and we are currently in negotiations on several more potential
developments.”

He
said the increases in sales and profits were the result of new openings and
larger pubs. “We have obviously grown in numbers this year and significantly we
have opened six pubs which averaged over £30,000 of sales a week in the second
half of the year.” The larger pubs also brought improved profit margins.

The
new menus are the work of catering development manager Simon Evans, who joined
Old Monk nine months ago.

Martin
said: “The Old Monk pubs, particularly city sites, get very big demand over
about an hour or so at lunchtime.”

The
focus of the new menu was to simplify the dishes on offer so they could be
produced quicker, while maintaining the quality. New sections, including a
curry section, have also been added to the menus.

Food
in the group’s Old Monk pubs accounts for about 20% of sales, and at Springbok
for slightly less. Martin estimated that the new menus could raise these
percentages by about three or four points.

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