Mansfield rises on pub purchases: Brewer earmarks pounds 60m for expansion outside traditional areas

Click to follow
PUB acquisitions were largely behind a 14 per cent increase in annual pre- tax profits to pounds 12.5m at Mansfield Brewery.

Acquisitions are set to continue, with the company earmarking pounds 60m for expansion outside its traditional areas of North Nottinghamshire and Humberside over the next three years. Capital expenditure in the year to 31 March was pounds 21.3m, but the cash outflow was contained to pounds 3.2m. Gearing rose marginally from 44 to 44.4 per cent on shareholders' funds ahead from pounds 136.9m to pounds 143.6m.

Sir David White, the chairman, said: 'Sales from Mansfield's traditional tied estate were down 3.9 per cent. Additional volume came from the 94 pubs bought last spring, which performed above budget.'

Sales to the free trade improved by 0.7 per cent with sales to wholesalers rising by 15.9 per cent. The increase, Sir David said, reflected 'Mansfield's successful development of the guest beer opportunity'.

Mansfield's beer brands include Old Baily bitter, Riding bitter and mild, and Marksman lager.

The company's shares rose 15p on the results, achieved on sales ahead from pounds 114.5m to pounds 117.7m, to a 1993 high of 800p. To reduce the heavy weight of the price, the company is sub-dividing the shares on the basis of one-for-four.

Shareholders will receive a final dividend of 11p, lifting the total payout to 15.4p - a rise of 14.8 per cent on the previous year.

Century Inns has become the first of the pub companies that emerged after the Government's Beer Orders to gain membership of the Brewers' Society, the industry's trade body. Membership is open to brewers who produce more than 5,000 barrels a year, or companies with more than 100 pubs. Century has 300 pubs, mainly in the Tyne Tees and Yorkshire area.