St Austell reports record turnover for second year running

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

On brand: St Austell has a wide range of recognisable beers
On brand: St Austell has a wide range of recognisable beers

Related tags St austell brewery Beer Cask ale Finance Pubco + head office Multi-site pub operators

South-west brewer, pub operator and accommodation provider St Austell Brewery has announced record turnover alongside improved operating profit.

The company has reported ‘strong’ financial growth in the 52-week period to 31 December 2023 and while facing challenging trading conditions, it grew underlying operating profit by 15% to £13.2m and saw turnover rise to £229.5m from £209.2m in the previous year, which was itself a record-breaking turnover figure.

Other figures from its results included earnings before interest, taxation, amortisation and depreciation (EBITDA) at £20.7m (£18.1m: FY22), statutory profit before tax at £8.0m (£19.2m: FY22), net debt at £70.6m (£64.5m: FY22) and pension scheme surplus at £15.6m (£12.6m: FY22).

St Austell Brewery non-executive chairman Will Michelmore said: “I am pleased to report that St Austell Brewery has once again achieved record turnover, but importantly, this increase in sales has also been converted into improved operating profit.”

Proud of results

He continued: “We are very proud of these results given the challenges that the company and wider sector continues to face. Costs have increased significantly during this financial year – particularly on food and labour – while the cost-of-living crisis has continued to reduce levels of disposable income and change consumer behaviours.”

He added that despite the challenging trading environment, demand for St Austell’s beers and the offer in its pubs has remained strong.

The business continues to be optimistic about its long-term prospects and remains confident in the team’s leadership and focused strategy for continued growth and future success.

St Austell Brewery chief executive Kevin Georgel said: “[Last year] was a year in which we made significant progress against our ambition to release the full potential of the business.

“We have continued to invest in our people and our high-quality pub estate while future-proofing our beer brands and drinks portfolio. As a result of this continued investment, and the contribution of our dedicated and talented teams, I am confident that we are delivering great experiences for our customers all year round, and this is generating strong profit growth.”

Clear strategic direction

He explained as the cost of living continues to impact people across the country, St Austell remains committed to delivering excellent value and stated the group is an experiential business with an ambition to exceed the expectations of every guest, whether they’re visiting one of the pubs or drinking one of its beers.

Georgel added: “Our financial performance compares strongly with the market and we remain a profitable, strongly cash-generative business with a clear strategic direction. We are focused on continued growth, harnessing the momentum we’ve built and diversifying our offer – where appropriate – to ensure that the business evolves positively and remains fit for the future.”

St Austell Brewery was established in Cornwall in 1851 and makes well-known beers such as Tribute pale ale, Proper Job IPA and korev lager. It owns more than 160 pubs, inns and hotels across the West Country – including managed houses and tenancies.

It also operates two breweries, in St Austell and Bath, having acquired fellow West Country brewer Bath Ales in 2016.

  • Look out for an exclusive interview with St Austell Brewery CEO Kevin Georgel in the Sunday Session newsletter on 16 June.

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