Burtonwood Brewery is to continue with its steady investment in refurbishments and acquisitions in the face of tougher conditions.
The pub operator said this strategy helped to push up pre-tax profits for the year to March 31 by 14 per cent to £7.21m.
The Cheshire-based company, which owns about 480 managed and tenanted pubs, said this was achieved in the face of "difficult trading conditions".
Chairman Richard Gilchrist said: "The competitive environment in the pub trade will ensure that the year ahead will be challenging. However, we are confident that our broad spread of outlets will enable us to continue to prosper."
Burtonwood, which split its brewery into a joint venture with Thomas Hardy, has been seen as a predator for other pub owners in its trading area of the North West, Yorkshire, the Potteries, Leicester and the Midlands.
Mr Gilchrist said: "We believe we have a good operational team who have the capability to control an expanded estate. Our progress in the current year and beyond depends on further selective investment in our estate and the acquisition of additional outlets."
Last month, it bought seven tenanted pubs from Scottish & Newcastle, boosting its tenanted estate to 441, as reported on ThePublican.com on May 4. (See Burtonwood buys seven pubs from S&N for full details).
It invested £1.22m in its division of 41 managed houses, which grew operating profit over the year to £3.06m.
Within its tenanted estate, income from beer and other products, rent and machines rose year-on-year, pushing up operating profit to £9.92m. Burtonwood spent £3.54m on the estate, including 41 major projects.
The company also revealed that its brewing joint venture, Thomas Hardy Burtonwood, was on course to increase returns in the future after winning new contracts.
However, Mr Gilchrist added: "Delays in reaching the projected levels of throughput will reduce the anticipated returns to Burtonwood in the current year."