Hydes on lookout for 'good quality pubs' but disposals of unsustainable sites will continue

By Ruth Williams, M&C Report

- Last updated on GMT

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Hydes has bought three sites this year
Hydes has bought three sites this year
Hydes Brewery, the Manchester-based brewer and pub operator, has acquired three freehold sites this year marking a return to the acquisition trail after streamlining the company.

The brewer reported a 25% rise in operating profit to £1.77m and 9.4% rise in turnover to £18.5m in the year ending 30 March 2014 as it continues to invest in the development of its pub estate.

It said trading has been “positive” for the first six months of its current financial year, witnessing similar trends to those seen the previous year.

Chariman Peter Johnson said: “I am pleased to report that since the year end we have completed the purchase of two sites and exchanged contracts on a large freehold site in Helsby, which we are developing as a destination food house and expect to be open this autumn.”

The first of the two is a freehold site in Manchester’s Northern Quarter to develop into a pub-restaurant with a 14-room boutique hotel which is expected to open in November.

The second site is a freehold pub overlooking the River Dee, Chester city which we will develop as a high quality wet-led community pub.

Quality

The company said its strategy is to invest in developing the quality of the pub estate, the transfer of selected tenancies to managed operations and the acquisition of good quality pub sites in areas with strong demographics and high disposable income, whilst disposing of unsustainable sites.

Managing director Chris Hopkins said: “This was a very encouraging year for the business following the major changes that were implemented in 2012. Those changes were designed to streamline the company and prepare Hydes for the future. The performance in the last financial year endorses the difficult decisions that were taken. We now have clear plans in place and a strong management team to deliver them.”

It has disposed of the Pineapple in Gorton and the Four Heatons in Stockport and said it will continue to dispose of unsuitable sites at the lower end of its estate.

Managed operation

During the year it transferred the tenancies of the Crown and Cross Keys in Cheadle, the Grey Horse in Manchester and the Bulls Head in Lymm to managed operations. Within its managed houses, turnover grew to £13.6m up from £12.2m in 2013.

The company’s gross profit margin increased by 2.8% to 64.2% which in part reflects the transfer of pubs from tenanted to managed houses as well as improvements in both wet and food gross profit margins during the year.

Operating costs increase from £9m to £10.1m because of the pub transfers but the company reports these had an overall positive effect on profit. As a result net profit rose by 24.9% to £1.77m.

Meanwhile the company’s new brewery in Manchester’s MediaCity Salford has begun producing a range of Lowry inspired beers alongside Hyde’s classic brews.

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