Hall & Woodhouse sees turnover drop of more than a third

By Nikkie Thatcher contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pandemic impact: Hall & Woodhouse is well placed to recover, company executive chairman Anthony Woodhouse said
Pandemic impact: Hall & Woodhouse is well placed to recover, company executive chairman Anthony Woodhouse said

Related tags: Multi-site pub operators, Pubco + head office, Managed pubs, Hall & woodhouse

Dorset-based brewer and operator Hall & Woodhouse reported a fall in turnover of 38.7% to £71.5m for the year ending 30 January 2021.

Furthermore, the 170-strong company also announced it had limited operating cash loss after interest and tax to £4.5m for the same period.

Since year end, Hall & Woodhouse also confirmed Barclays has won the mandate to be the company’s sole strategic banking partner, refinancing all its banking facilities by providing a £45m facility with a tenor of three years as well as other banking services.

Family culture

The pub company’s executive chairman Anthony Woodhouse said: “Hall & Woodhouse is not only surviving the pandemic but is well placed to recover quickly. There are three primary reasons for this.

“The company has been built over many generations on a freehold basis with limited borrowings, the fabulous work under Matt Kearsey’s leadership has done in getting us into battle formation and then back open safely a number of times, and the family culture that has supported our team, our business partners and the communities in which we operate through the dark days.”

Woodhouse went on to outline how the pub and brewing sides of the business have been performing.

He added: “We are very grateful for the support our industry has received from the Government. It is worth noting however, that even after netting off monies received, Hall & Woodhouse was still a significant net contributor to HMRC.

“Since reopening post year end, the managed pubs, with the exception of those in London, have traded strongly, albeit hampered in some locations by seasonal team shortages and supply issues. The business partnerships pubs reopened without a single vacancy.

“The brewery operated at record levels due to the growth in the off-trade where Badger outperformed a growing market [and] Rio had another strong year.”

Prudent managing

Over the past year and a half, Hall & Woodhouse has secured or agreed terms on three managed and seven business partner freehold sites across its trading area.

These have been funded in part, by the disposal of a number of smaller business partnership sites that did not fit in its long-term strategy.

Managing director Matt Kearsey said: “Throughout our history, we have managed the business prudently so we can ride out challenging times and also take advantage of the market opportunities that inevitably arise from disruption.

“The site purchases we are making are high quality and rarely come on to the market.”

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