Brains unveils annual results

SA Brain & Co Ltd has announced its latest results which show continued sales growth for the Cardiff-based drinks and hospitality business.

For the year ending 30 September 2012, the Cardiff-based brewer unveiled turnover figures of £120.7m, up £7.1m (6 percent) on the previous year’s figures.

Gross profit was up 8 percent to £14.03 million delivering an underlying operating profit of £4.47 million, in line with the previous year, and EBITDA grew by 2.5 percent to £11.9 million.

In a tough trading landscape, particularly strong performances were recorded by the managed house estate which saw like-for-like sales grow by almost 6 percent. Notably, cask ale volumes were up by 1.8 percent and bottled and canned beer sales were up 17 percent.

Coffee#1, acquired by Brains in September 2011, continued to grow strongly with overall sales up by 21 percent, and like-for-like sales figures growing 3.2 percent on the previous year.

Chief executive Scott Waddington underscored the strength of the results in a market which he believes is still suffering from low consumer confidence which, in turn, has made trading patterns unpredictable.

“Despite the economic climate we have continued to take the business forward delivering a strong growth in turnover and a creditable improvement of EBITDA,” he said. “Our growth in revenues from our managed houses is among the industry’s very best and the estate’s performance has been recognised by the industry – we secured both Best Managed Pub Company of the year and Best Food Offer at the national Publican awards in March.

“Coffee#1 has performed particularly well. We added 11 stores during the trading period and by the end of September last year we had 26 in total. Since then we have added a further five and have another four due to open over the summer. Coffee#1 recently won Coffee Bar Chain of the Year at the Café Society Awards for the fifth year in a row.”

Mr Waddington identified sport as an important factor in the business’s continued success.

“Sport is a powerful social driver in South Wales and sports sponsorship is a key focal point of our marketing activity and we remain the official ale of the Welsh Rugby Union, the Football Association of Wales and Glamorgan Cricket,” he said.

Brains has also broadened its product offering with the establishment of a new craft brewery which produced its first beer in May 2012.

“The response to the range to date has been excellent,” said Mr Waddington, “We have already achieved national listings for the bottled ranges and extended distribution for our cask and keg products.”

Looking to 2013, Mr Waddington said, “Trading in the current financial year to date has been difficult, but is broadly to our expectations. We remain cautious about the trading conditions that we expect to experience and will therefore continue to focus on controlling costs and driving growth through our core pub business.”