Adnams finding it 'difficult to be too positive' about pub trading conditions

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Economics Beer

Jonathan Adnams, chairman of Suffolk-based brewer, distiller and retailer Adnams, has said the company is finding it difficult to be too positive about the economic trading conditions for pubs
Jonathan Adnams, chairman of Suffolk-based brewer, distiller and retailer Adnams, has said the company is finding it difficult to be too positive about the economic trading conditions for pubs
Adnams, the Suffolk-based brewer, distiller and retailer, has revealed its profits jumped by 3.5 per cent in 2012 but has admitted difficult pub trading conditions are continuing and are making it difficult for the company to be 'too positive' about the future.

Announcing its financial results for the 12 months to 31 December, Adnams said it achieved sales of £56.9m last year, up from £54.6m in 2011. Pre-tax profits also grew year-on-year with the company reporting a profit of £3.4m in 2012.

Challenging

"Adnams enjoyed a good year in 2012, despite the challenges of tough markets and lack of economic growth," said Jonathan Adnams, chairman of the firm founded in 1872.

“The markets that Adnams operates in have been challenging and this hasn’t been helped by external factors such as Government policy or indeed the poor British weather. We have continued to support our customers throughout these difficult times by holding Adnams beer prices," he explained.

In 2013 the company will hold its beer prices for its tied estate and free-trade customers - the fifth consecutive year it will do so.

Although the chairman pointed out beer consumption was falling, Adnams said its beer volumes actually grew last year by 3.8 per cent.

Positive

In his full chairman's statement, Adnams echoed fellow hospitality operators who have said they are now learning to live with the 'new normal' depressed trading conditions. 

"There seems now to be almost an acceptance that the UK economy is stagnant and a flat line economic performance is becoming the norm. In many cases the income of consumers, allowing for inflation, has been falling. Adnams operates in some very tough markets," he said.

"We sold two pubs in the year and are currently looking at further sales. Wherever possible we seek to sell pubs as going concerns, and we have managed to do this for all pubs that we have sold in recent years. We understand a local pub’s importance to its community. In some circumstances, however, the fact has to be faced that a pub may no longer be sustainable.

"It is difficult to be too positive about an economy where things feel hard and give little sign of being about to improve. Our markets are tough ones and 2013 has begun as 2012 ended with difficult trading conditions, exacerbated in January with a covering of snow. Nonetheless we did many of the right things to improve our performance in 2012 and we believe that our long-term view will continue to hold us in good stead over the years to come," he concluded.

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