Belfast Telegraph

Young’s capitalises on summer sun to defy cost increases

The pub chain was holding its annual general meeting on Tuesday.

Young’s has hailed a strong start to trading as it capitalised on good weather to defy Brexit-related cost increases.

Sales were up 8.8% in the first 13 weeks of the pub chain’s financial year, rising by 5.2% on a like-for-like basis.

This compared with like-for-like sales growth of 8.6% during the same period the year before.

We are, once more, benefiting from a long period of very warm weather Young's chairman Stephen Goodyear

Young’s acquired seven pubs last year, and said the new sites were integrating into the business well.

The company’s shares were up 0.19% to 1,748.25p in morning trading, with analysts saying they could target 1,760p.

Young’s chairman Stephen Goodyear said the results were “very pleasing” given the high level of growth delivered the year before.

“We are, once more, benefiting from a long period of very warm weather,” he said.

“The macro-economic and political environment remains challenging and the continued uncertainty surrounding Britain’s future trading relationship with Europe is unhelpful for businesses.

“In addition, our sector faced huge cost headwinds last year and, while these pressures have continued into the current year, they have slightly moderated.”

However, he said the pub company was confident in its strategy, and that it would continue to invest in its store estate, technology and staff.

Analysts at Liberum said: “The industry continues to face significant cost headwinds, albeit they have slightly moderated, with Brexit uncertainty unhelpful for the business.

“The boost to higher margin drinks sales from recent weather, alongside other efficiency programmes should help to mitigate this and the company maintains its previous guidance for flat margins this year.”

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