Brulines working with Trading Standards

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Trading standards European commission

Dickson: confident beer tie is legal
Dickson: confident beer tie is legal
Brulines is working with Trading Standards to establish steps to improve the calibration of its equipment, the beer flow monitoring company has said....

Brulines is working with Trading Standards to establish steps to improve the calibration of its equipment, the beer flow monitoring company has said.

The company — which came under fire in the Business and Enterprise Committee (BEC) probe into pubco power — said it was working on improvements but slammed the BEC report as a "gross misrepresentation of the facts".

"Brulines has been working with Trading Standards to establish what, if any, steps might be taken to improve our methodology, calibration or operating processes with a view to establishing some form of approval regardless of whether our services fall under the Weights and Measures Act," said chief executive James Dickson.

The company said it believed there were "strong grounds" for the Government to reject the BEC's call for a Competition Commission inquiry into the legality of the beer tie.

"In particular, the European Commission and the European Courts considered the UK pub tie in detail and concluded that it was not anti-competitive," said Dickson.

"And more recently, the Office of Fair Trading ('OFT') provided evidence to the 2004 Select Committee suggesting that there was no basis for further investigation of the tie. Nonetheless, if the Government does decide to refer this matter to the competition authorities, we are confident that the outcome will reconfirm the competitive nature of the pub sector once and for all.

"The Group was extremely disappointed by comments in the BEC Report made in relation to the Brulines business. It is particularly important to note that at no time during the enquiry did any member of the BEC enquiry seek clarification from Brulines on either the claims made, or examples quoted concerning the beer monitoring system or processes used."

He added: "Brulines produces over one million reports annually on the dispense and delivery volumes of around 23,000 public houses. The BEC enquiry appears to have relied upon one specific example (and some unstated others) and assumed that this is representative of 23,000 public houses.

"The Group believes this presents an imbalanced view and a gross misrepresentation of the facts."

Brulines saw revenue increase 11.7% to £19.07m for the year to 31 March. Its operating profit before pre-exceptional items was up 26.5% to £5.05m while profit before tax and exceptionals also increased 19.6% to £4.98m. The group increased the number of installation units 7% to 23,000.

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