Liberation Group year sales up

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Positive performance: Liberation Group has announced growth in its yearly sales
Positive performance: Liberation Group has announced growth in its yearly sales

Related tags: Beer

Jersey-based pub company the Liberation Group has reported like-for-like growth of 3.6% for the full year across its managed pubs estate.

The growth was driven by positive performance across the company, with food sales up 0.8%, and drink sales up 5.1%. Accommodation sales also saw an 8.5% lift across the 39-strong managed division.

Chief executive Jonathan Lawson said the disposal of five pubs had meant proceeds were reinvested into an existing portfolio, boosting sales.

The company performed well over Christmas, with like-for-like sales up by 6% over the six-week period to early January, including accommodation sales boosted by 35%. 

Just under half of its pubs received investment, including four major developments at sites in Jersey; Bristol; Rowberrow, Somerset; and Guernsey.

Its beer operation Butcombe Brewing faced a 3% drop of on-balance volumes for the full year.

However, the group said it was confident new leadership was on track to boosting volumes again, with a 1% increase for the past six months.

It appointed Marc McGuigan as managing director and Andrew Cooney as director of sales of the brewery last summer.

Good mix

Lawson said: “We have an immensely talented team at Liberation Group with a good mix of new talent and valued, long-service colleagues.

“There has been a significant amount of change and work to establish a strong platform for growth going forward, both organically and via acquisitions.

“We have been encouraged by the response to these investments and our programme has continued in the first few weeks of the new financial year.

“Our brands of Liberation and Butcombe have been reinvigorated and we look forward to launching new creatives for our brewing businesses and our pub estate.

“Looking forward to 2020, we aim to build upon this momentum and seek opportunities to expand of estate of freehold pubs in both our managed and tenanted businesses.”

There were also opportunities for capital investment in the pub group’s 69 tenanted pubs capital investment, Lawson said.

Three pubs in its tenanted estate have been transferred to its managed division and are awaiting development.

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