Young & Co said this morning that trading in the current year had “started well”, with managed house sales for the first 13 weeks up 9% in total and 5% on a like-for-like basis.
Chairman Stephen Goodyear described the performance as “very pleasing” given the tough comparatives delivered this time last year when business was also up by 9%.
He said the pub chain had benefitted from a long period of very warm weather as well as the seven acquisitions it made last year and the three transfers from the Ram Pub Company, its tenanted operation, to managed houses.
The company has been strengthening its presence in the hotel market and will shortly open the Naturalist in Woodberry Down and begin fitting out a further site in Kidbrooke Village.
“The macro-economic and political environment remains challenging and the continued uncertainty surrounding Britain’s future trading relationship with Europe is unhelpful for businesses,” stated Mr Goodyear. “In addition, our sector faced huge cost headwinds last year and while these pressures have continued into the current year, they have slightly moderated.
“Despite these challenges, we remain confident in our winning strategy of running differentiated well-invested, individual, premium pubs in excellent locations, which has a proven track record of outperforming the sector.”
Mr Goodyear added that the chain will continue to invest in its estate and remains “positive about the year ahead.