Heavitree fights continuing profits slump

Related tags 1973 1982 Foot-and-mouth disease

Pub operator Heavitree insists that the business is recovering despite a new blow from foot-and-mouth disease.It suffered another slump over the six...

Pub operator Heavitree insists that the business is recovering despite a new blow from foot-and-mouth disease.

It suffered another slump over the six months to April 30 when pre-tax profits were down a further 17 per cent to £621,000.

The former brewer, which owns 110 pubs in the South West, saw its pre-tax profits fall by 19 per cent last year and by nine per cent the year before.

It has suffered from problems over unpaid rents and its pension scheme while a few of its rural pubs have lost trade after the outbreak of foot-and-mouth.

Chairman William Tucker said: "Foot-and-mouth disease is having a marked effect on two of our managed houses, and no end to this plague is yet in sight. Some of the tenanted houses as well may lose trade from this cause as the summer goes on."

But group turnover increased by 4.2 per cent to £4.7m while figures for its troubled managed estate improved in April and May.

Mr Tucker said: "Signs of a real recovery are now appearing. The fight to regain the lost profit has made a good start. We are confident that it can be won with the main problems now identified and being tackled."

The biggest blow to profits was its 11-strong managed house division, which has been put under the management of specialist Albion Contracts. These contributed a loss of £202,000, which is about £27,000 worse than the same period last year.

Related stories:

Heavitree issues profits warning (January 22, 2001)

Heavitree hit by costs (July 10, 2000)

Heavitree's relief (February 4, 1999)

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