Young's pub company has reported a 7.3% increase in total revenue to £168.2m, despite challenging comparatives with England's FIFA World Cup performance last year and the hottest English summer on record.
In its interim results for the 26 weeks ended 30 September 2019, the group reported a drop in pre-tax profit from £26.4m to £24.7m, while a 7.2% increase in adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) led to a half-year high of £43.3m. A stronger second quarter for the group benefited from good weather over August Bank Holiday and September.
Young's said it had seen like-for-like sales growth of 1.1% in its managed pub estate and has invested £17.3m during the period, including the freehold acquisition of the White Bear in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, while the Redcomb pubs acquired in January have been integrated into the existing Young's estate and are performing in line with expectations.
Patrick Dardis, chief executive of Young's, said: "I am very pleased with the performance of our business during the first half of the year. In what was a challenging period up against tough comparatives, we continued to grow profits, make acquisitions, invest organically and increase the dividend: a reflection of the consistent execution of our strategy and the hard work of our teams throughout those six months.
"The start of the half year was challenging as the poor and unpredictable weather was a far cry from last year's exceptional early summer sunshine. However, the summer Bank Holiday temperatures and late-September sunshine contributed to strong like-for-like sales growth in the second 13 weeks, which helped to balance the first half, with like-for-like sales finishing up 1.1%...
"Although the upcoming general election prolongs the unpredictability of the political environment, it does not change our approach or confidence in our winning strategy of running high-quality, well-invested premium pubs.
"Our expectations for the full year remain unchanged and we remain confident in our ability to deliver long-term growth and sustainable superior investor returns."