This press release provides details and comment relating to the company’s statutory accounts for the year ending on 29 March 2015 and trading over the first quarter of the new financial year.
This was the company’s second full year of trading following a major restructuring in 2012 which involved the sale of Hydes’ free trade business, the closure of its Moss Side brewery and the establishment of a new brewery and head office at Media City UK in Salford.
The cost savings related to the restructure benefited the 2013/14 financial year and helped to deliver a 25% increase in operating profit in that year. 2014/15 has seen continued good progress based on positive trading performance. Company turnover grew by 20% to £22.3m and operating profit by 27% to £2.2m.
Last year’s press release stated that “The restructuring has streamlined the company’s operations. Our strategy is to invest in developing the quality of our pub estate, the transfer of selected tenancies to managed operations and the acquisition of good quality pub sites in areas with strong demographics and high disposable income, whilst disposing of unsustainable sites.” It is pleasing to report that the strong performance in the year fully reflected the successful implementation of this strategy.
The turnover and profit growth was the result of successful refurbishments, tenanted to managed house switches, three acquisitions during the course of the year and like-for-like sales growth in managed houses.
The growth from refurbishments was primarily driven by the exceptional performance of the Pack Horse at Affetside, near Bury, which was transferred from tenanted operation, significantly developed, and reopened in February 2014. Two sites were transferred from tenanted to managed house operation during the financial year, the Vine, Nantwich and the Manor House, Sale. The latter has subsequently been developed as the company’s first value dining pub.
Three acquisitions have been completed during the financial year. The Mount in Chester is a quality suburban site with outstanding views over the river Dee and Chester city centre. It is planned to invest in this site in 2016. The Helsby Arms, located close to junction 14 on the M56, was acquired in the summer of 2014 and, following significant investment, reopened as the Hornsmill at Helsby last December. This is a destination food site similar in operating style to the Pack Horse. Several photographs of this site are attached.
The major acquisition during the year was the Abel Heywood in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. This three storey building housed a clothes shop until it was acquired in the summer of 2014. The site has been transformed into a traditional pub, with dining rooms and 15 boutique bedrooms; reopening in December 2014. It has performed strongly from day one achieving very high wet sales and excellent levels of occupancy. Several photographs of the site are attached.
The new brewery is producing a wide range of outstanding cask beers including old Hydes favourites such as Original and Manchester’s Finest and a series of celebration beers linked to seasons or events, such as the rugby world cup. In addition a Provenance range is available featuring hops from around the world in beers such as ‘Munchen’ and ‘Paddock Wood’ (Visuals are attached). In all over 40 bespoke beers were brewed during the financial year.
Managing Director Chris Hopkins commented “This was a second positive year for the business following the major changes that were implemented in 2012. Those changes were designed to focus the management team on the development of the pub business so it is pleasing to see that focus paying off. We look forward to further progress in the implementation of our strategy during 2015/16”
First Quarter of 2015/16
Trading during the first quarter of the new financial year has been positive. April was a particularly strong month but as the weather has subsequently deteriorated we have seen performance in line with expectations.
Three major refurbishments have been completed so far this year at The Nursery (Heaton Moor), the Quarrybank (Timperley) and the Vine (Nantwich). The first two have seen sales growth in line with forecasts while the Vine has significantly surpassed our expectations.
For more information, please contact: