Maclay eyes craft beer expansion

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Lloyds banking group, Public house

Clerk's Bar in Edinburgh was one of two sites acquired by the Maclay Group last year
Clerk's Bar in Edinburgh was one of two sites acquired by the Maclay Group last year
Scottish pub and bar operator Maclay Group is looking to add a craft beer offer across its 26-strong estate as the company reports a pre-tax loss of £169,895 in the 16 months to 1 February 2014.

It compares to a pre-tax loss of £737,379 for 2012, when there was a property impairment charge of £679,654 for the company. The firm agreed a £10m term loan facility with Lloyds Banking Group in February 2014, managing director Steve Mallon told the PMA’s sister title M&C Report.

Operating profit fell from £718,302 in 2012 to £604,616 across the 16 months, which Maclay said reflects a “transitional period” for the group in which it closed three sites for refurbishment.

Maclay pointed to positive trends in the period, including a 6% increase in average pub profit, a reduction in debt by £500,000 to £10.3m plus a rise in like-for-like sales by 1.3%. Turnover was £13.6m (2012: £10.4m).

Mallon said: “During this period we embarked on a major investment programme spending over £1m to refurbish three key venues. This meant extended periods of closure for the Tullie Inn, Balloch, the Southsider in Edinburgh and the West Port Hotel, Linlithgow. As a result, sales at these venues were down in the short term, but since re-opening all three have exceeded our expectation.

“This year we will continue to invest in some of our other premises as well as in the development of our staff. These investment projects have helped ready our portfolio to capitalise on a very busy and vibrant 2014 season.”

He told M&C Report​ that fewer refurbishments are planned for the current year but the group would look to make acquisitions. Maclay plans to open five sites a year, and Mallon said the company is “roughly on track” with that target.

New sites

This year so far it has acquired two sites: Clerk’s Bar in Edinburgh and the Raven in Glasgow. Both operate under a craft beer and barbecue food concept, which has since been retro-fitted into another three sites.

There are no plans to add the barbecue food format into more outlets, but Mallon said: “Craft beer is a big part of what we do and we’re now thinking about that in all sites. It may be one, two three or four taps depending on the condition of the pubs and the demographics.”

Mallon said summer trading has been “pretty good”, with the current Commonwealth Games benefitting Glasgow and the west in particular, “slightly to the detriment of the east”. He was positive about the expected impact of the Rider Cup and Edinburgh Festival.

The accounts state that a new £10m term loan facility was agreed with Lloyds Banking Group in February. A term loan of £10.3m was repayable in October 2013.

Related topics: MA Leaders Club

Related news

Show more