As revealed by the Publican’s Morning Advertiser’s sister site M&C Report, Tully will be succeeded by Richard Lee, who has been a director for two years.
Holts spoke of the “very difficult trading environment” in the year and said its drop in operating profit from £3.4m to £2.8m is “largely due to a planned increase in marketing expenditure” on its beers.
The brewer added that trading has been “generally level, but with some encouraging pub developments coming on stream.”
Turnover increased from £45m to £46.2 and gross profit grew to £29.2m from £28m, with profit for the financial year down from £2.6m to £2.3m.
Holts said it made “significant investment” in “a number” of pubs in the year. The Richmond kin Southport, the Ape and Apple in Manchester and the Melville in Urmston were “repositioned” in the year and traded “very successfully” post development. The Fiveways in Hazel Grove, purchased in 2012, has undergone a “major redevelopment and is similarly producing some excellent numbers”.
“The board is very pleased with these developments and has identified further opportunities in 2014 and beyond to repeat these successful operations.”
The company said its free trade sales increased during the year, and in particular trading with national accounts “has made good progress”. The expansion of Two Hoots as a cask ale and Crystal lagers have been “especially successful”.
Tully is retiring after 22 years on the board of directors and has served as chairman since 2000.