The fall in the company’s bottom line has been put down to an exception item related to the reorganisation of its warehousing and distribution operations.
Like-for-like sales across Shepherd Neame’s managed sites were up 3.3 per cent, with sales of accommodation, food and liquor all rising by 7.9, 5 and 2 per cent respectively.
“I am pleased to report a solid performance in difficult market conditions and a strong start to our new financial year,” said chief executive Jonathan Neame. “ We are encouraged by the investments we have made in our brands and our pub portfolio and the exposure our assets give us to growth areas in the market.
“We believe the business is well positioned should the early signs of economic recovery be sustained.”
Video interview: Jonathan Neame
Earlier this year, Neame told BigHospitality that the cut in beer duty has given him the confidence to accelerate investment in his company's expanding pub estate.
In this exclusive video interviewfilmed earlier this month at the firm's historic HQ in Faversham, Neame told BigHospitality that, while the signs had been positive that the controversial beer tax escalator would be scrapped in the Budget, the further cut in beer duty had come as a surprise.
"It has been a great achievement - the first cut for 40 years is something that perhaps we didn't expect," Neame explained. "The key message for the Government is if you give us the fiscal stimulus we can create jobs and investment."
The year ahead
During the year, Shepheard Neame’s turnover grew steadily by 1.4 per cent, to £134.9m. It generated £19.6m of earnings before exceptional items, interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation, loss on sale of fixed assets (excluding property) and free-trade loan discounts.
Its core brands performed strongly, with Spitfire up 2.7 per cent; Bishops Finger up 1 per cent and Asahi Super Dry up 9.4 per cent on a comparable 52-week basis.
The company has since made a particularly strong start to the new financial year, with like-for-like sales in its managed estate up 10.2 per cent; like-for-like EBITDAR in the tenanted estate to 31 August 2013 up 1.7 per cent; and total beer volume up 9.3 per cent.