Young’s sees profit slip

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Looking ahead: Young's boss Patrick Dardis remained positive for the future of the pub group
Looking ahead: Young's boss Patrick Dardis remained positive for the future of the pub group

Related tags: Pubs

Young’s saw its operating profit drop by 3.8% in the 26 weeks to 30 September 2019, its interim results revealed.

However, the statement also found total revenue for the group, which operates more than 200 sites, was up by 7.3% to £168.2m for the same period.

A relatively flat like-for-like sales growth of 1.1% was seen in the group’s managed pub estate, which the pubco said reflected the challenging prior comparatives from the hottest English summer on record and England’s World Cup performance.

But revenue for the managed houses was up 7.8% by £11.7m, which Young’s said reflected its active investment over the past 18 months.

The managed arm of the business now totals 200 sites (including 30 hotels), up from 182 for the same period last year.

The period also included investment of £17.3m, which featured the freehold acquisition of the White Bear in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Challenging period

Young’s chief executive Patrick Dardis said: “I am very pleased with the performance of our business during the first half of the year.

“In what was a challenging period up against tough comparative, we continued to grow profits, make acquisitions, invest organically and increased the dividend – a reflection of the consistent execution of our strategy and the hard work of our teams throughout those six months.

“The start of the half year was challenging as the poor and unpredictable weather was a far cry from last year’s exceptional early summer sunshine.

“However, the summer bank holiday temperatures and late September sunshine contributed to strong like-for-like sales growth in the second 13 weeks, which helped to balance the first half, with like-for-like sales finishing up 1.1%.”

Dardis went on to outline how current political uncertainty won’t impact the company’s ethos and forward plans.

Separate sales

He added: “Although the upcoming general election prolongs the unpredictability of the political environment, it does not change our approach or confidence in our winning strategy of running high-quality, well-invested premium pubs.

“Our expectations for the full year remain unchanged and we remain confident in our ability to deliver long-term growth and sustainable superior investor returns.”

The results also revealed overall drink sales rose by 6.4%, or 0.7% on a like-for-like basis.

It added whereas last year traditional summer drinks such as Pimm’s, rosé wine and draught lager were the best sellers, drinks more suited to cooler temperatures were well placed to reap the benefits this year.

Red wine was the group’s strongest performer of all wine categories, with sales up by 7.9% and from its draught range, Guinness saw growth of almost a fifth (18.4%) and its sales of cask have also improved.

Its food sales outperformed drink for the period with like-for-like sales ahead of last summer by 1.9% and up 10.6% in total.

Accommodation sales also saw arise of 12.9% in total, reflecting the company’s room stock, up by 88 rooms compared with the same period last year.

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