JW Lees plans to plough £6m into estate

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Trading update: JW Lees is set to splash cash into its pubs
Trading update: JW Lees is set to splash cash into its pubs

Related tags Multi-site pub operators Pubco + head office Tenanted + leased Jw lees Beer

Family brewer and pub group JW Lees has announced it is looking to invest £6m into 24 of the pubs in its existing portfolio.

The business reported a profit before tax of £8.1m for the 52 weeks ending 31 March 2022 (up from a £6.3m loss in 2021).

Turnover rose from £21.3m in 2021 to £75.4m for the latest trading period, while the group’s net assets increased to £88.6m (from £81.5m).

North-west based JW Lees has continued to pump money into its portfolio amid the pandemic, which began with the completion of its first new build pub in a decade – the Aviator at Woodford.

Redevelopment plans

It also redeveloped the Red Lion in Withington (acquired in February 2020) alongside refurbishments at the Stanneylands Hotel in Wilmslow and all 50 bedrooms at the lodge adjacent to the Boat & Horses in Chadderton, Oldham.

The group also sold five pubs in the year – the Bowling Green in Chadderton, Burnage Cricket Club, the Minders Arms in Oldham, the Crown Inn in Heywood and the Red Lion in Blackburn. The sites were no longer considered to be capable of being developed in the future.

Furthermore, JW Lees had a £20m revolving credit facility in place, of which £10m had been drawn down as of the company’s year-end results to March 2021.

Cash update

During the year, the £10m draw down has been fully repaid and the facility limit decreased from £20m to £17.5m from January this year, as per its terms.

As of March 2022, the group has £27.5m including the cash reserves of £10m, at its immediate disposal.

The company reflected on the fact it took the decision early in the pandemic that for as long as pubs were closed, its pub partners would not be charged rent, which it said helped improve its already strong relationships with those partners.

Looking ahead, the statement said the group will continue to operate profitably and is keen to grow its business by buying new freehold sites including hotels and pubs, in the north-west of England and north Wales.

Related topics MA Leaders Club

Related news

Show more