A win for France at the World Cup last summer helped boost revenue and profit at Charles Wells, which has an estate of pubs in France, during 2018.
Revenue at the company for the year to 29 September was £43m in 2018. That was down significantly from £138.8m in the year prior, which reflected the £55m sale of its brewery and the majority of its beer brands to Marston's in 2017.
Revenue at the company's 13 pubs in France grew by 21.6% , with its pubs in Bordeaux and Lyon achieving record performances, boosted by the host's World Cup-winning run in June and July. The company opened two more pubs in France during the year in Lille and its biggest pub in France yet, the Jolly Sailor in La Rochelle.
The company's UK managed estate grew from six pubs to ten, with the addition of three Pizza, Pots & Pints pubs in Cambridge, Hitchin and Oxford and the development of the Bull in Olney as an Apostrophe pub. Net revenue in the division grew 127% to £7.5m.
Meanwhile, its pub partner business, which has over 160 sites, recorded a 2.9% increase in operating profit last year, despite having eight fewer pubs.
Charles Wells is in the process of concluding a land purchase for a £13m, 30,000 hectolitre brewery in Bedford, for which it won planning approval in May last year. The site will include a visitor centre for brewery tours, an on-site pub and a venue for music and events.Get The Caterer every week on your smartphone, tablet, or even in good old-fashioned hard copy (or all three!).