Trading restrictions cost Everards more than £3m

By Nikkie Thatcher contact

- Last updated on GMT

Trading update: Everards has reported its sales for its latest financial year (image: Getty/alexsl)
Trading update: Everards has reported its sales for its latest financial year (image: Getty/alexsl)

Related tags: Everards, Legislation, Government, Finance

Covid measures for nine months of this year have meant Leicestershire-based firm Everards reported an operating loss of £3.4m for the financial year ending September 2021.

The company stated this was driven by the reduction in the volume of drinks supplied to the pub estate alongside significant cancellations of rental income. It added there was no material uncertainty and the accounts have been completed on an ongoing basis.

Everards managing director Stephen Gould said: “Clearly a tough financial year but our employees and business owners have been remarkable while faced with unprecedented challenges.

“We have and will continue to invest in our people, communities and business. Our level of pub vacancies is very low after nearly 21 months of disruption and interest in joining our company as an employee or business owner has never been stronger.”

The summer of last year saw the company complete the second phase of its Everards Meadows development, delivering two new breweries, a beer hall, shop and offices.

Development update

Gould said: “We are delighted with the development. Trading in our beer hall and shop has been excellent and it has been great to welcome our employees back to purpose-built offices.

“I am pleased to report all Everards beers have been successfully commissioned in our new brewery and since November 2021, are now all brewed at our Everards Meadows home.

“Our sincere thanks go to Robinsons Brewery, Purity Brewery and Joules Brewery, which have done a fine job brewing our beers since we closed our old brewery in July 2017.”

In the first two months of the new financial year (October and November), pub estate sales improved, performing at 96% of like-for-like trading compared to the same period two years ago.

However, the implementation of the Government’s Plan B measures, which include urging people to work from home where possible, impacted trade.

Government support needed

Everards reported sales to pubs were at 81% compared to December 2019, bringing its quarter one like-for-like position down to 90%.

The pub group boss added: “December is a time when our business owners build cash reserves to deal with lower trade levels in the first quarter of the new year.

“Due to Plan B restrictions, which impacted consumer confidence, in many pubs this will not have been possible.

“Everards will continue to work closely with all business owners to support at pub level. Planned Government support by way of grants for business owners is appreciated but sadly, does not go far enough.

“We invite the Government to invest in a sector that is so important to a thriving UK economy by suspending business rates for quarter one of 2022 for all hospitality business and agree to review the 2022/23 cap.

“[By] prolonging the reduced rate of VAT until at least the end of June 2022 – ahead of a review looking at a permanent reduction and ensuring brewers are within scope for compensation grants and rate relief.”

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