Shepherd Neame has announced that underlying operating profit increased by 1.1% to £8m in its half-year results.
In the 26 weeks ended 28 December 2019, turnover also rose by 3.3% to £79m, while underlying profit before tax was up 4.8% to £6.2m.
Its 69 managed sites achieved a “solid” performance, with total managed sales rising 4.3% to £37m. Like-for-like sales were also up by 0.9%, and average income per managed site grew by 1.4%.
Amongst its 239 tenanted pubs, average income per site grew by 5%, while divisional underlying operating profit was up 1.7% to £6.7m.
Meanwhile, Shepherd Neame’s own brand beer and cider volume grew “ahead of the market” at 3.3%, and divisional turnover grew by 3.5%.
Jonathan Neame, CEO, said: “Shepherd Neame continues to benefit from a well-balanced business. These results demonstrate the strength of our tenanted pubs in a period where managed margin was held back by the challenging cost environment.
“For the rest of the year, we remain concerned about the potential impact of the Covid-19 virus. We have seen no discernible change in customer behaviour to date.”
He added: “Looking forward it is impossible at this stage to gauge the likely impact, but should there be significant restrictions on travel and the movement of people in the coming months, that would have an inevitable bearing on our business and our supply chain.
“Over the longer term, the quality and profile of the Company’s brands and pubs will stand us in good stead and form an excellent platform from which to grow. We are confident we are building an even stronger business for the future.”