Young's hopeful despite fragile economic picture

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The Independent Online

The pubs and brewery group Young's said it was "cautiously optimistic" about the year as it posted a rise in profits last night.

Adjusted pre-tax profits rose to £20.8m, with basic earnings per share surging by more than 42 per cent to 36.97p. The group, which also announced the retirement of chairman Chris Sandland, upped its payout for shareholders by 2 per cent to 13.26p per share.

"Although consumer spending is likely to remain under pressure in the near term, we are cautiously optimistic about the outlook for the current year as whole," its chief executive, Stephen Goodyear, said, adding that the quality of the Young's estate would help it deal with what remained "a very fragile economic recovery".