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.

Published by: