Young profits up but brewer warns of difficult conditions

JOHN YOUNG, chairman of Young & Co, yesterday unveiled a 5 per cent increase in adjusted pre-tax profits at the London-based brewer and drew attention to the "difficult market conditions" experienced across the industry, due to "poor summer weather and a general slowdown in consumer spending".

Blake Dixon, chairman of the dissident shareholder Guinness Peat Group, which failed in its attempt to break the three-tiered shareholding structure at July's annual meeting, admitted the figures "did not look bad" but maintained that enfranchising non-voting shareholders was the only way to increase City confidence and raise the capital to increase Young's retail base. The shares ended up 6 per cent at 627p, but still well below the July high of 810p.