Despite missing out on a number of recent pub deals Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries (W&DB) said it would continue to "target further investments" which met its capital return yardstick.
The Midlands-based pub group was reporting on trading for the 51 weeks to September 23.
In a pre-close trading statement W&DB said that its integrated business model "provides us with wider investment opportunities and increased operational flexibility. The Board remains confident that our strong balance sheet, conservative financing and strong cashflow will allow us to target further investments meeting our return on capital criteria".
City observers have noted that in recent months W&DB has lost out on a number of brewery takeovers to its leading rivals, notably Greene King, although W&DB chief executive Ralph Findlay has stressed his company will not overpay for assets.
The group's trading update said performance for the year to date was "in line" with the group's expectations, with June/July like-for-like sales throughout its managed Pathfinder estate up 6.7 per cent, and trading since the end of July "ahead of last year".
Its tenanted business, the Union Pub Company, saw average profit per pub up around five per cent in the 51 week period.
Pension costs are expected to rise by £2m annually from next year, while the group's overall cost base is expected to increase by £5m, as higher energy costs and the minimum wage increase kick in.