Hall & Woodhouse posts drop in profit

By Mark Wingett, M&C Report

- Last updated on GMT

Swish site: Hall & Woodhouse's flagship pub-restaurant in the centre of Bath
Swish site: Hall & Woodhouse's flagship pub-restaurant in the centre of Bath

Related tags Beer Brewing Profit

Hall & Woodhouse, the Dorset brewer and pub operator, has reported a fall in pre-tax profit for the 52 weeks to 29 January 2011, as it incurred significant start-up costs for a flagship site in Bath and started the development of its new brewery.

Pre-tax profit fell 14.8% from £6.56m to £5.59m, while operating profit before onerous rent provisions dropped to £7.3m from £8.4m in 2010.

Turnover climbed slightly, up 1.3% to £90.47m, while interest costs stood at £1.8m, slightly down on £1.9m in 2010.

Chairman Michael Woodhouse said: “2010 was always going to be a transition year financially as we incurred significant start-up costs of our new flagship site at Bath and started building the new brewery on the Blandford [Dorset] site.”

Woodhouse said that the decrease in operating profit was mainly due to the start-up costs in Bath and “change in sales mix
towards increased, but lower-margin, sales in the take-home channel”.

The group, which operates 180 tenanted pubs and 58 managed sites, achieved record property sales of £8m (2010: £2.1m) during the year, driven by the disposal of surplus land adjacent to its Plough pub near Horsham in West Sussex.

Property disposal profits rose from £700,000 in 2010 to £3.3m.

The company wrote down 14 leasehold pubs to zero value during the year. The group hopes to be brewing beer from the new plant early next year.

Woodhouse said that the group had made “significant headway” in reducing its borrowings, which fell by a record £10.2m during the year to £43.3m.

He said that strong cashflow helped the company to negotiate new banking facilities earlier this year of £20m each from Lloyds and HSBC, which have left the company with total facilities now in excess of £60m.

Related topics Other operators

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