Shepherd Neame, the British brewer and pub owner, claimed it has performed “ahead of our expectations” in terms of cash and profits since it last reported on 21 April 2021.
The group saw total retail sales reach 84% of 2019’s pre-pandemic levels for the 11 weeks from 12 April to 26 June.
While sales sat at 62% during the initial period of outdoor trading between 12 April and 16 May, those sites trading then saw 97% of 2019’s sales from the indoor reopening on 17 May.
Shepherd Neame also reported a jump in total beer volume across all channels in May and June of 8.4% when compared to 2019, while total own beer volumes excluding contract fell 3.6% for the same period.
Jonathan Neame, CEO at the company, said that despite continuing to “trade below full capacity” it has been able to benefit from “strong pent-up demand”.
He added: “The business is back on the path to recovery and has been cash generative and profitable since re-opening.
“Although we naturally have to be cautious in case further restrictions are imposed during the winter months, we are now looking forward and planning beyond the pandemic with some optimism, driven by the rapid return to near normal trading levels in the past few weeks.”
Despite the “most encouraging” of restarts to trading, the group did recognise that it would “inevitably report a loss” for the year to 26 June 2021, although this will be “less now than originally forecast”.