Shepherd Neame hails 'record' results as profits and revenues increase following pub investments

Britain’s oldest brewer Shepherd Neame is raising a glass after increasing profits and revenues for the year as investment in its managed pubs paid off.

The beer and pub company, founded in 1698, hailed a “record set of results” as underlying pre-tax profits grew by 10.7% to £10.3 million, while turnover increased 1.2% to £139.9 million.

Sales in its 54 managed pubs and hotels grew 4.4% in the year to June 25, with sales of accommodation growing 11.7%.

Shepherd Neame beer includes Master Brew
Shepherd Neame beer includes Master Brew

The annual results vindicate the Faversham-based brewer’s investment in revamping its premises, spending £7.3 million last year on improving the look and feel of its pubs and £2.2m in repairs and decorations. Both figures were up on the previous year.

The largest of these was at the Ship and Trades in Chatham Maritime, which had a £1.2 million redevelopment adding 15 rooms and a restaurant overlooking the marina.

Shareholders will enjoy a 3% increase in their final dividend to 22.05p a share, making total dividends for the year of 27.5p.

However, the firm said it would “retain a cautious approach” in the near future after the outcome of the EU referendum.

Chief executive Jonathan Neame said: “I am delighted to report a record set of results, with managed pubs our key driver of growth, and an impressive performance against our strategic objectives.

Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame
Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame

“In recent years, we have worked hard to improve the quality of our pub estate and modernise our brand portfolio. We have created a much stronger business with sustainable cashflows and the skills and ambition for further growth.

“We have made a good start to the new financial year, with a particularly strong performance from our coastal pubs.”

Alongside the good performance from managed pubs, chairman Miles Templeton hailed “strong cash generation” from its 267 tenanted pubs, brewing and brands.

Earnings before interest, taxes and other charges in its tenanted estate were up 2.7%, although its own and licenced beer sales were broadly flat, up 0.3%.

The Ship and Trades pub in Chatham
The Ship and Trades pub in Chatham

Underlying operating profits grew 3.5% to £14.2 million. Final pre-tax profits were up 4.7% to £14.4 million as it received £11.9 million from property sales.

Most of this came from the sale of 10 acres from the company’s farming business at Queen Court, outside Faversham.

This reduced the firm’s net debt by £8.7 million to £60.1 million.

Despite the good results, Mr Templeton said the EU referendum had created legal and economic uncertainty, adding “we are mindful of the possibility of a slowdown in economic activity”.

He said: “We live in uncertain political and economic times and consumer confidence is very sensitive to changes in sentiment.

“Thus we retain a cautious approach at all times and focus on making the right investment decisions for the long term.”

Shepherd Neame also unveiled new branding with its annual financial results.

The new logo replaces the red badge which the company had used for more than 20 years.

Shepherd Neame has updated its branding
Shepherd Neame has updated its branding

Mr Neame said it was time “to introduce a more stylish and modern presentation of the company logo” which “articulates the real and original character of the business”.

The new branding will be put on pub signs from the second half of the year. The firm is also upgrading to a more mobile friendly website in December.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More