Vaux backs beer despite decline

Vaux, the Sunderland-based regional brewing and pubs group, said yesterday it remained committed to beer, despite the fact that hotels now generated nearly half its profits.

Sir Paul Nicholson, chairman, said the rate of decline in beer sales had halved over the past 12 months and had now virtually levelled out.

His finance director, Neal Gossage, said: "We believe there is a long term future for Vaux as an integrated brewer and the discounts being negotiated will change."

Results for the six months to 15 March show brewing hit by the higher discounts Vaux is having to offer its retail customers, while hotels remained the group's star business last year. Unveiling a 14 per cent rise in pre- tax profits to pounds 15.2m, Vaux revealed that trading results from the Swallow Hotels chain had soared 28 per cent to pounds 11.5m - close to half the total.

The figures show that regional hotels are sharing in the current boom in bookings. Occupancy rates at the 30 hotels improved by 2.7 percentage points to 68.6 per cent and achieved room rates increased by 9 per cent to pounds 49.12.

There were divergent results from beer. Profits from the tenanted estate dropped 12 per cent to pounds 5.5 m, reflecting a drop in the number of pubs from 771 to 695 and lower beer sales, which slipped 2.7 per cent.

However, there was better news from the 171-strong managed portfolio, where profits were up 14 per cent at pounds 4.7m. Food turnover rose 7.3 per cent, drink by 4.5 per cent and income from machines was up nearly 30 per cent to pounds 1.2m.

Brewing and wholesaling now represents a tiny portion of the business.

Profits there rose just 2.7 per cent to pounds 1.4m. Volume sales rose, but the company was forced to offer bigger discounts, while contract sales fell 40 per cent. Half the beer sold in Vaux pubs now come from other suppliers.

Earnings per share rose from 7.23p to 8.33p and the interim dividend rises from 3.56p to 3.7p. The shares dipped 0.5p to 277.5p yesterday.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Manager - SAS - Data Warehouse - Banking

£350 - £365 per day: Orgtel: Manager, SAS, Data Warehouse, Banking, Bristol - ...

SQL DBA/Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL DBA/Developer
 SQL, C#, VBA, Linux, SQL Se...

.NET Developer

£650 per day: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer ASP.Net, C#.net, WCF, WPF, .N...

Planning Manager (Training, Learning and Development) - London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glob...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment