Scottish & Newcastle, the UK's largest brewer, yesterday announced plans for a rapid expansion of its themed pub estate, writes Andrew Yates. Its Chef & Brewer family pubs and the John Barras community pub chain will be rolled out across the country over the next few years. It is spending pounds 150m to re-brand 200 of its pubs in the next 12 months. Brian Stewart, chief executive (pictured left, with Sir Alistair Grant, chairman, yesterday) said: "Our main focus of growth will be our managed estate. By next April we will have at least 600 pubs trading under our retail brands." He believes Scottish & Newcastle will benefit from the Government's decision last week to block the brewing rival Bass's takeover of Carlsberg-Tetley. "On its own Carlsberg-Tetley will continue to lose market share. Those brewers with strong brands, such as ourselves, will continue to capture that market share," he said. Mr Stewart's comments came as Scottish & Newcastle announced a 21 per cent rise in underlying pre-tax profits to pounds 374m.
Investment column, page 24
Photograph: Andrew Buurman