City Pub Group has reported an increase of adjusted pre-tax profits of 60% amid boosts to its revenues, earnings and portfolio size across the year ending 30 December 2018.
Adjusted EBITDA also rose, up by 28% to £7.9m compared to 2017's £6.1m.
The year ended with the group claiming a portfolio of 44 predominantly freehold, wet-led sites across southern England and Wales. The group opened 11 new pubs across the period, in line with its goal of operating between 65 and 70 sites by mid-2021. This included a development and expansion of clusters of sites in London, Cardiff, Brighton and Cambridge.
Currently the group are developing four further sites, while two exchanged sites are due to complete "imminently", bringing the total portfolio to 50.
It comes after 2018 proved a strong year for wet-led operations, with the long hot summer and the world cup boosting profits for many pubs and bars across the UK.
Clive Watson, executive chairman of the City Pub Group, said: "Our strategic expansion has continued at pace with the opening of 11 new pubs in 2018 bringing the total to 44.
"Our performance has been driven by both organic growth and the new pubs coming on stream. Considering the continued strong performance we are delighted to increase our dividend, by 22% for shareholders.
"We continue to seek new sites to add to our portfolio and we have already earmarked six new pub openings for this year and are on course to meet our target of doubling the size of the estate to around 65-70 pubs by mid-2021.
"We believe the combination of further acquisitions, fine-tuning the management of our existing estate and the benefits of our new divisional structure will enhance our performance further. We are positioned to meet the number of well-trailed headwinds, not least the challenges brought through Brexit, and to take advantage of the softening market for acquisitions with our robust balance sheet and strong cash generation."