Ahead of today’s AGM, chairman Steve Goodyear said the group had seen particularly good performances at its river-based pubs and those with gardens as the country enjoyed a spell of good weather.
Goodyear said the customer base at the premium end of the market appeared to be resilient, and that despite significant headwinds the group’s positioning would allow it to continue outperforming the market.
He said: “As every year of strong performance goes by, we set the bar higher for ourselves while the economic environment is becoming more challenging. Nor is the Government making life much easier for our sector, with additional cost pressures from increased business rates, the national living wage, the apprenticeship levy and the general uncertainty created first by Brexit and more recently by the outcome of the general election.
“However, I am confident that the expertise and energy that exists throughout Young’s and our very deliberate strategic positioning gives us the armoury to continue our outperformance of the sector.
“We operate very much at the premium end of the sector and the resilience of this segment’s customer base has, so far, been encouraging. Consumers, when they do go out, are looking for an experience and going to a Young’s pub is seen as an affordable lifestyle choice – a treat but not an extravagance. Long may that continue.”
He said the group was benefiting from the four acquisitions made last year. Since the start of the year the group has exchanged on the Bull (Bracknell), which will open in September. As first revealed by MCA, it has also transferred three tenanted pubs into the managed house estate: the Hope & Anchor (Brixton), Kings Arms (Wandsworth) and the Grove (Camberwell), which were previously part of the Grand Union estate.