Operating profit rose by 12. 8 per cent to £4.6m, with pre-tax profit up by 20 per cent. Over the same period, draught beer and cider saw volumes through its pubs increase by 3.6 per cent year-on-year, contributing to a growth in turnover by 7.1 per cent to £16.4m.
Chief executive Tom Davies, joined Brakspear’s parent company JT Davies & Sons two years ago, says the sales uplift ‘speaks volume for the talent of our tenants and lessees’.
“We’re extremely pleased with these figures, which compare favourably to the draught volume declines recorded by many of our competitors,” he said. “Our tenants and lessees, aided by the increased marketing, training and business support we are now giving them, were able to keep their pubs busy and profitable, despite the unpromising environment.
“2012 was a tough trading year for pubs generally, and especially for the many Brakspear pubs with wonderful gardens that sat empty during the wettest summer for a century.”
After leaving university to join Geronimo Inns on the shop floor as a general manager, Davies worked as a business development manager for the Fullers tenanted division. Since joining the family firm, Davies has carried out a significant restructure and earlier this year led the company back onto the acquisition trail for the first time in six years.
Brakspear purchased five pubs during 2012, at a cost of £7.4m. It also started its redevelopment of the Bull on Bell Street in Henley, which became its first managed pub in March of this year. The pubco invested a total of £1.8m in improving its existing estate, including a major refurbishment of the Crown in Playhatch near Reading and a number of projects of varying scales at other pubs.
During 2012, Brakspear also bolstered its support for pubs, recruiting a second designer to help tenants and lessees with refurbishments as well as a marketing manager to create estate-wide promotional activity and help individual business partners market their pubs.
It also put in place a training programme, offering free courses on beer and cellar management, wine knowledge, improving food margins, driving footfall and using social media.
“These results reflect the hard work put in over a number of years to turn Brakspear into a fitter, more flexible business and put us on a stronger footing to go forward,” added Davies. “This enabled us to buy five excellent pubs last year, which will enhance our estate and our financial performance going forward.”