Brains reflects on a landmark year

Brains reflects on a ‘landmark year’

Wales’ leading independent brewer and pub operator, SA Brain & Co Ltd, today announced results for the year ending 30 September 2009.

Summary:

  • £103m turnover, down by £10.3m (9%) – reflects sale of drinks distribution (free trade) business
  • £4.7m operating profit down 36% - impacted by disruption and carrying costs post sale of free trade business
  • £10.4m profit before tax up 77.1% - includes profit on sale of free trade business
  • £6.4m profit after tax, up by £2.7m (73.5%)
  • EBITDA as a % of turnover up to 14.1% from 13.3%
  • Managed house like for like sales down 1.3%
  • Managed house food and accommodation sales up 10% and 42% respectively
  • Tenanted and leased division volumes down by 6.8%
  • National Sales volumes up by 1.5%
  • Take Home volumes up 63%
  • Ale volumes up 1.2% with cask ale volumes up 6%

Scott Waddington, Chief Executive of Brains said:

"This has been a landmark year for the Company following the sale of the free trade business whilst also navigating a particularly difficult set of trading conditions.

"Profit was boosted considerably by the sale of the free trade business. However, this also contributed to a reduction in turnover, as the Company no longer wholesales third party products to free trade accounts. The sale of the free trade business has enabled us to fully focus on and invest in our brewing and pubs business whilst making our beer brands more widely available through Heineken UK’s comprehensive distribution network.

"Our managed and tenanted/leased divisions felt the effect of the slow down in consumer spending and continued cost pressures. Despite this, we saw very good growth in our managed house food and accommodation sales. Good progress was also made with National Sales customers where our performance in pub groups has been particularly encouraging. Significant progress has also been made in our Take Home business. Our beer volumes for the year grew by 1.2% in a market that was 6.4% down on a national basis. Our cask ale volumes grew by 6% compared to the national market for cask which was circa 1.7% adverse. This means we continued to grow share across the year.

"It was difficult to grow income in the underlying business whilst again having to absorb a number of increased costs that we could do little to control. Nevertheless it should be noted that overall we have continued to outperform the market in several areas of the business and at least perform in line with the market in others.

"The recent 5% increase in beer duty on top of the 20% increase experienced over the past 2 years is unhelpful to the brewing and pubs industry and will put further jobs at risk across the sector. While we remain cautious about the trading conditions that we expect to experience in 2010, we remain committed to giving our customers good reasons to visit our pubs and drink our beers. Therefore, we intend to increase investment in the marketing of our brands and will continue to invest selectively in our pub estate.

"Following the changes made this year, we have a more focussed business plan which covers a quality pub estate, an increasingly demanded brand and a strong balance sheet, all supported by a strong team of committed people across the Company."