South England pub company Pubs ‘N' Bars has blamed a slide in full-year profits on rising utility and rent costs combined with weakening consumer demand.
Pre-tax profit at the 65-strong estate of freehold and leasehold pubs fell 9.2% year-on-year to £1.20m (2004: £1.33m) as a result of the report.
Included was a one-off £232,717 payment incorporating former chairman Mike Mealey's compensation, after he stepped down from his role at the end of last year.
Turnover in the 12 months to 31 December 2004 was down 2.6% from £14.22m last year to £13.85m in 2004.
The company said this was partly due to its decision to switch several food-led pubs from managed to tenancy operations, which meant reduced turnover but improved profit margins.
Newly installed non-exec chairman Seamus Murphy said it remained on the hunt for new pubs, particularly freehold community, despite a fall in consumer confidence and spending since the year end.
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