Jennings Brothers revealed strong full-year turnover and profit growth today, as suitor Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries (W&D) made its £46m offer for the pub company official.
Pre-tax profit for the year ended 26 February increased 21% to £3.45m (2004: £2.85m). Turnover grew by 5.6% to £18.2m (2004: £17.24m).
Jennings's chairman John Rudgard credited the strong performance on the decision to concentrate on its 128 leased and tenanted pubs, the majority of which are in Cumbria.
W&D currently has almost 27% of Jennings's shares and its £45.8m offer represents a 32% premium on the pre-offer share price.
The company has promised it will not close Jennings's Cockermouth brewery in Cumbria, but the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) has called on shareholders to block the deal.
A Camra spokesman said: "W&D's promises to keep Jennings Brewery open, however genuine, are no guarantee. In 1999 W&D acquired Mansfield Brewery and closed it within two years."