Kentish-brewer and pub operator Shepherd Neame saw turnover and pre-tax profits rise during the last six months of 2006, thanks in part to the acquisition of nine freehold pubs.
Turnover for the six months ending 30 December 2006 was up by 3.5% to £50.6m while pre-tax profits rose 9.6% to £5.1m.
In the same six month period Shepherd Neame acquired nine freehold pubs for a total of £13.5m and since Christmas a further £1.9m has been spent on another two sites. Of these acquisitions six will be managed and five run as tenancies.
Chief executive Jonathan Neame said: "Total beer volumes were up 3.4% with growth in sales of our core brands, with continued excellent progress with Asahi Super Dry. We are confident that trading will continue to show similar progress in the second half."
Neame has had the Japanese beer under a brewing, sales and marketing licence since 1 January 2007.
"We have made very good progress with our ‘outside area' investment programme in advance of the smoking ban and expect to have completed projects at half our pubs by 1 July 2007," Neame added.
by Christopher Walton