Admiral turnover hits £150m, Hawthorn merger praised

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Potential acquisitions eyed: Admiral Taverns CEO Chris Jowsey (left)
Potential acquisitions eyed: Admiral Taverns CEO Chris Jowsey (left)

Related tags Finance Property Legislation Multi-site pub operators Pubco + head office Tenanted + leased

Admiral Taverns has lauded its acquisition of the Hawthorn pub estate in 2021 as a “transformational event for the business” as its group turnover reached £152.8m.

The Chester-based community pubs operator also reported an operating profit of £21.2m, a loss after tax of £6.6m and underlying profit after tax of £3.6m in its financial results for the year ended 29 May 2022.

Admiral said it has continued to “develop a high-quality estate of successful, individual, wet-led community pubs at the heart of their communities” that includes the successful integration of Hawthorn Community Pub Company into Admiral Taverns following the acquisition in 2021​.

It has invested £28m in capex (capital expenditure) over the year with a total of £50m invested in the past two years while it gave an estate valuation of £589.8m, reflecting the acquisition of the Hawthorn portfolio with 64 disposals during the period resulting in a total estate of 1,547 pubs at the financial year end.

Ahead of expectations

The business also boasted the launch of its sustainability strategy, which has seen £1m invested into energy saving measures while establishing short, medium and long-term strategies to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.

Despite economic headwinds pubs have traded ahead of management’s expectations through September 2022, helped by buoyant drink sales from the tenanted pub estate. Admiral has continued to focus on delivering internal improvements across the business to aid licensees and has proactively lobbied the Government to increase awareness and champion the community value of its pubs.

Admiral chief executive Chris Jowsey said: “Our highly supportive and proactive measures to protect our licensees during the pandemic have enabled the business to recover quickly and I’m pleased to see most pubs returning to pre-2019 trading levels.

“The Hawthorn acquisition was a transformational event for the business and I am delighted to have successfully completed the integration of these pubs into our estate, welcoming a number of new colleagues and licensees into the group.”

Affordable hospitality

He continued: “The current economic environment creates a challenging backdrop for our publicans, but our community based, wet-led pubs continue to demonstrate their resilience, and are well situated within their communities to provide affordable hospitality.

“We have a passionate belief in the value of community pubs and have delivered several strategic initiatives to support licensees through this period, including our £1m investment into energy-saving measures and £28m capex investment across the year.

“As we look to the future, we continue to focus on our strategic plans to acquire, develop and maintain a high-quality estate of successful, individual wet-led community pubs at the heart of their communities.

“We remain optimistic that our supportive model and high-quality estate of pubs puts us in a good position to trade through this challenging macroeconomic environment and continue to make progress against our long-term strategy.”

Last month, Jowsey told The Morning Advertiser​ offering great value was key to surviving the next year​ and its community, wet-led sites are in an ideal position to do so.

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