Charles Wells' pubs increase profits despite drop in turnover

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Beer

Bedford-based brewer and pubco Charles Wells has announced a small profits increase across its estate of pubs
Bedford-based brewer and pubco Charles Wells has announced a small profits increase across its estate of pubs
Bedford-based brewer and pubco Charles Wells has revealed its financial results for the last year; its UK pubs operation has reported an increase in profits per pub of 3.8 per cent driven by a 1.2 per cent rise in like-for-like sales.

The growth in EBITDA per pub for the year to 29 September came despite a drop in turnover for the estate of 4.9 per cent.

Charles Wells has recently been revitalising its estate and disposed of 22 venues as per its planned strategy. Four 'high quality' pubs were also added to the estate in the last year - all were taken on by current licensees allowing their introduction to cause minimum disruption to the firm as a whole.

"It’s good to see that so many licensees who run a Charles Wells brewery pub are outperforming the market and within our core estate we have seen some exceptional achievements," Paul Wells, chairman of Charles Wells, said, commenting on the results.

Wells also said the revitalisation of the estate was having a positive impact on its licensees. "Our support packages have helped us to attract some of the highest calibre licensees and help them be successful in their pub and this has contributed to lifting the average length of tenure over six years," he added.

John Bull

Charles Wells, which recently bought the 40 per cent stakehold Young's held in the Wells & Young Brewing Company,​ acquired a number of beer brands in the last year but lost a couple of other significant licenses. It grew owned beers in the last year and now owns 80 per cent of its brands.

Overall the company pulled in £1m more in sales income than last year despite a £6.6m drop in pre-tax profits.

As well as its brewing and UK pub business, Charles Wells also operates a number of pubs in France under the John Bull brand. In the last year it acquired an eighth site in Lyon and this week announced it was on target to operate 16 sites by 2016.

"Our performance this year has been in line with expectations and we have invested for the future through acquisition of beer brands and high quality pubs in the UK and France. Our international sales and pub operations have demonstrated that growth is possible at home and overseas, despite the difficulties of the global economy," Wells said.

Charles Wells also announced its wine company, Cockburn & Campbell, enjoyed a year of sales growth.

The company has revealed it has made two key appointments for 2013 - Justin Phillimore moves from his role as group finance director to managing director of the brewing division while Andrea Holton joins as HR director.

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