Robinsons Brewery reports record results as turnover rises to £75.5m

Stockport-based Robinsons Brewery has reported a 6.1% rise in turnover to hit a record £75.5 million in the year to 31 December 2018, more than doubling its profit achieved last year.

The family-run brewer and pub operator’s turnover rose by £4.3 million compared to the figure recorded last year, while its profit before tax rose to £7.1m, more than double the £3.2m reported in 2018.

Robinsons’ 11 managed pubs performed particularly well, with sales up 24.7% which the brewer attributed to “strategic acquisitions” and “an increased focus on food”.

The company operates a total of 255 pubs and hotels across the north west, acquiring The Seacroft in Trearddur Bay in Anglesey in December 2018 and investing in other Welsh sites including the The Four Alls in Caernarfon the George III in Penmaenpool near Dolgellau.

Having disposed of 8 of its tenanted pubs, Robinsons reported like-for-like net income grew 4.2% at these sites, while operating profit rose 4.9%. During the past financial year, the company has completed “19 major customer facing investments” in its tenanted pubs totalling £2.2m, including a six-figure investment in The Smoker in Plumley and The Devonshire Arms in Mellor.

William Robinson, managing director of Robinsons’ pub division commented: “Investment, licensee support and training have been key drivers over the last five years. During that time, we have invested £26.7m of capital expenditure and completed 127 refurbishments. As a result, our tenanted and managed pubs are in extremely good shape, trading well, and are in a strong position to continue to grow sales.”

“While we continue to grow our managed estate, our tenanted pubs remain a key part of our business. Our long-term strategy remains unchanged as we focus on developing our people, growing the quality of our pub estate through selective acquisitions and investment schemes, and creating high-quality beers that our customers love to drink. We have made a steady start to 2019 and are optimistic about the long-term sustainable success of the business.”

Like other beer businesses, however, Robinsons said the previous year had been a challenge due to events such as the ‘Beast from the East’ and the CO2 crisis.

Managing director of Robinsons’ beer division, Oliver Robinson, added: “2018 was both challenging and rewarding. We operate in uncertain political and economic times and face increasing costs: rates re-valuation, national living wage, food inflation, auto enrolment, beer duty inflation and the potential risks and opportunities that Brexit may bring. Furthermore, we operate in an era of national decline in cask beer and more consumers than ever abstaining from alcohol.”

“Nevertheless, we performed well, both in-year and in preparation for the years to come. This saw us plan for a very successful launch of our own Helles Lager Bier which is in over 100 pubs already and our own Stout. The Old Tom stable of beers grew by 11% with great gains in off trade and export which has provided a strong platform for an exciting 2019 in which it celebrates its’ 120th birthday.”

Last year, the brewer announced a major revamp of its beer range, which included plans to modify and rebrand its Dizzy Blonde beer and launch new beers including a low alcohol cask ale and an orange craft beer.

The company was recently name-checked by The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) in its Brewing Green 2019 report for its efforts to improve its environmental credentials. 

Its partnership with British heavy metal band Iron Maiden has also proved fruitful, with the duo releasing its 4.8% ABV Sun and Steel lager in March. 

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