Revenue grew 8% to £108.2m with pre-tax profit up 9.9% to £14.9m (pre-exceptional: up 18.6% to £15.9m). Operating profit grew 7.9% to £17.7m. Meanwhile, managed house revenue in the first seven weeks of H2 was up 7.7% in total, and up 4.6% on a like-for-like basis.
Managed house revenue in H1 was up 9% to £102.3m, with same outlet like-for-like sales up 6%. Managed house operating profit was up 16.9%.
Across the managed estate like-for-like drink sales were up 5.5%. Food sales growth continues to outperform drink, with total food sales up 11.9% and 7.8% on a like-for-like basis.
Excluding its two Stratford-based pubs that received a huge trading boost during the Olympics last year, Geronimo’s revenue increased by 7.8% and by 7.1% on a like-for-like basis, “a strong performance”.
The company invested £17.7m in developing its pub estate in the period and in four freehold pub acquisitions. Recent new openings have “performing very strongly”.
During the year it acquired three new tenancies and transferred a further four to its managed estate. Last year it sold nine tenanted pubs and transferred one to Geronimo. “As a result of these sales and transfers tenanted sales are as expected down, in total by 7.1% and profits down 19.4% at £1.9m.”
It now operate 77 tenancies compared with 88 eighteen months ago. Tenanted houses now represent 5.3% of group revenue compared with 6.2% this time last year.
Young’s announced a 6.1% increase in the interim dividend to 7.45 pence, the 17th consecutive year of dividend growth. Net debt increased slightly to £113.5m, “owing to investment in estate and four freehold acquisitions, but continuing to fall as multiple of EBITDA (2.6 times)”.
Stephen Goodyear, chief executive of Young’s, said: “This has been an excellent six months for Young’s, especially when set against the strong comparators of last year when London was revelling in the Golden Jubilee and Olympics.
“Our well located premium pubs, many with riverside locations or attractive gardens, have allowed us to make the most of the warm summer. We have also benefited from the improvement in consumer sentiment in London and the south of England, where we are focused.
"What the past five years have shown however, is that we are capable of generating profitable growth come rain or shine, and even in a very tough economic climate.
“Trading in the early part of the second half has been good, and we will continue to invest in both our Young’s and Geronimo estates - and in both pubs and hotels. Overall, we feel positive about the year as a whole.”