Brewer and retailer Wadworth has recorded a small increase in annual profit in a year that saw a major strategic review of the entire business.
The company, which has 220 tenancies and 39 managed houses, saw profit before tax, disposal of assets and pension scheme adjustments rise to £7.87m in the year to 30 September 2006 from £7.83m the year before.
There is much more to be done in our estate, particularly with our food offering, and with extended hours Chairman and managing director Charles Bartholomew.
Turnover declined slightly to £48.96m from £49.76m the year before.
Chairman and managing director Charles Bartholomew said: "The challenge for the coming year is to push sales forward again. To that end we have conducted an internal strategic review of all parts of the business."
On the tenanted side of the business, Wadworth saw a 4.6% increase with better sales of its own beers in the second half.
The company spent £3.4m on 18 new developments, ranging from £35,000 up to £350,000. Sale of foreign beers and lagers were down, offset by an increase in cider sales.
Bartholomew added: "We have set up a property helpdesk for repairs and maintenance so that our area managers can concentrate on developing business in their houses rather than discussing property issues, and this is proving beneficial."
Managed pubs saw a 7% drop in retail profit, with a poor first half and a much better second half.
Bartholomew said: "Accommodation showed a 9%increase, but in-creased pricing on gas and electricity put our costs up by more than £3,000 per house.
"There is much more to be done in our estate, particularly with our food offering, and with extended hours. Later afternoon trading on Saturdays and Sundays is a real opportunity, and there is still more to go for with accommodation."