Belfast Telegraph

Young’s toasts pub success after bumper World Cup summer

The group’s chief executive said it set a ‘high benchmark’ for the coming months.

The pub group saw solid sales growth last year (PA)
The pub group saw solid sales growth last year (PA)

Pub group Young’s has posted strong annual growth, but warned it will be tough to beat the growth of last year’s bumper World Cup summer.

Revenue was up 8.7% to £303.7 million, despite what the company called a “challenging backdrop”.

Profit before tax was 5.1% higher at £39.5 million.

Like-for-like sales in managed pubs were up 5.1%, with the summer and Christmas periods showing particularly strong performances.

Chief executive Patrick Dardis said: “Our riverside locations, beautiful gardens and growing number of roof terraces meant the business was well placed to take advantage of the fabulous summer weather and the performance of the England football team at the Fifa World Cup.

“The Christmas trading period was also very strong, with Young’s pubs packed full of seasonal cheer and merriment.”

The group continued to expand, spending £67.1 million on acquisitions, including the 15-strong portfolio of Redcomb pubs.

Mr Dardis said the addition “presents tremendous opportunities for future growth”.

But he also warned that the start to the financial year had been “tough”, with less good weather compared with last year.

“Looking ahead, the amazing weather throughout the summer of 2018 and England’s World Cup success sets a high benchmark for the coming months. However, we remain confident that we will continue our strong growth story in the coming year.”