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Thwaites to ramp up pub investment

From The Publican

By Hamish Champ , 21-Mar-2011

Daniel Thwaites, the Lancashire brewer, could double the number of investment schemes across its tenanted pub estate in the coming months.


Richard Bailey, the brewer's newly-appointed chief executive, said the group planned between 50 and 60 investments this year, versus approximately 30 schemes it carried out in 2010.


"We want to lift the overall quality of our estate and provide a more comfortable environment for our customers," he said.


Formerly in charge of the brewer's strategic development, Bailey's appointment to the new CEO role followed Peter Morris's recent departure as managing director of the group. He is the brewer's third boss in four years.


After a period of transition and restructuring, which saw Thwaites transferring its managed pubs over to tenancies, Bailey said he believed the brewer was now in a better place to confront the industry's challenges.


"The market is tough but we've rebased the business along core lines, namely Thwaites' beers, our [355] tenanted pubs, the Shire hotels business and our inns business. We are well placed to meet the challenges," he added.


Thwaites was "targeting new geographies" for its pub estate ambitions, Bailey said, although he declined to say where the group had its attentions focused.


"We are committed to our tenanted pubs and we want to create the environment where both parties make a fair living from the business, with investments with entrepreneurial operators and flexible agreements where the circumstances are tougher.


But Bailey warned agreements would be equitable: "We aren't going to be a soft touch. We want everyone pulling together," he said.


Thwaites would also be looking to push its beers harder, particularly brands such as Wainright, while two new beers will be brought to the market in the coming months, Bailey said.

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