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Brakspear records 45% drop in turnover as pandemic impact continues

Tom Davies, CEO, said the firm remains “challenged” with staff shortages and price rises, as well as supply chain and logistical issues

J T Davies and Sons, the parent company for Henley-based pub operator Brakspear, has announced it is still being impacted from Covid-19 with turnover falling 45% to £19.4m for the year ending 27 December 2020.

It also revealed a reported loss before tax of £221k for 2020, a decline of 103% from the previous year, resulting in the first reported loss since JT Davies bought Brakspear in 2007.

All 125 pubs, restaurants and inns were forced to close three times during the year totaling four months in 2020 and operating under trading restrictions while open.

The firm said the “impact of the pandemic is still being felt” like many others in the industry.

Tom Davies, CEO, said: “Whilst 2020 was a very unexpected year and we’re glad it’s behind us, the impact of the pandemic is still being felt.

“During our peak trading summer months with all restrictions lifted, we were challenged with significant staff shortages and price rises, as well as supply chain and logistical issues, which are perhaps a consequence of Britain leaving the EU. We anticipate facing these challenges for many months to come.”

He added: “Our Government now seems determined to risk the hospitality industry’s recovery with an anti-immigration policy towards hospitality staff and others. My understanding of Brexit was that controlled immigration that supports our economic growth would remain.

“The Government expects us to increase productivity which is extremely difficult in our service-based people-led industry. Wage inflation will inevitably lead to price increases which will hit customers’ pockets.”

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