Fewer pubs going insolvent, says finance firm

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

The availability of alternative finance has enabled pubs to invest and improve profitability, says Ortus Secured Finance
The availability of alternative finance has enabled pubs to invest and improve profitability, says Ortus Secured Finance

Related tags: Brewery, Investment

The number of pubs going through insolvency in the last year has fallen by 7 per cent to 480 according to specialist lender Ortus Secured Finance. 

The latest figures continue a slowing trend for insolvencies in the sector, dropping by 16 per cent in 2013/14 when the figure hit 574. 

Ortus Secured Finance managing director Jon Salisbury attributed the slowdown to the fact more pub and bar companies were able to access alternative funding which in turn they'd used to invest in business improvements such as refurbishments and the addition of new kitchens. 

Salisbury said smaller companies, in particular, had been able to tap into the growing consumer interest in craft beer and improve their food offerings by installing microbreweries, or building open kitchens. 

“There is a real desire among a large demographic to spend on super premium drinks like 'brewery fresh' or 'unfiltered' artisan lager or small batch and exotic botanical gins," he said. 

“Successfully tap into that super premium market and you can transform your margins. A £5 pint no longer raises eyebrows.” 

Ortus Secured Finance says that the 2003 Licensing Act was also a significant boost for pub companies as later opening hours meant that they could compete directly with nightclubs. However, this has often meant that the pubs and bars have had to invest in order to attract guests and encourage them to stay later. 

Salisbury said: “With insolvencies steadily declining in the last few years- its clear that the pub sector is performing well.

“A key driver for this decline is the availability of finance for the sector- small and big pub companies alike are becoming increasingly aware of alternative finance and the value continued investment can have for their business.”

Related topics: Business, Pubs & Bars

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