Robinsons Brewery is preparing to embark on a multi-million pound investment programme which will see almost 200 pubs refurbished over the next five years.
In a move that suggests further spend on its kitchen facilities, the company has said that it is allocating £23m for the exercise, which will involve schemes at 179 properties. The programme will also encompass the development of the company’s new managed house business.
Robinsons, which is one of the leading independent brewers and pub operators in the north west with over 300 pubs, says the programme means that two thirds of its pub estate will be refurbished between now and 2020.
The announcement comes against a backdrop of major developments, including the rebuild of their brew house, a new Visitor Centre, record investment in the pub estate, and a company-wide corporate rebrand announced at the start of 2015 involving pub signage, logistics, merchandising, literature, website and beer brands.
William Robinson, managing director (pub division), said: “The strategic plan required a significant additional investment in our pub estate to improve the long-term fortunes of our company. Therefore we plan to accelerate this spend over the coming years and invest over £23m in 179 schemes over the next five years and a similar amount in the maintenance of our pubs across the estate. So we can expect suppressed profit until at least the end of this period.”
Robinson added that the enhancement of its sites remains key to its growth plans. “We remain committed to the development and enhancement of our core tenanted pub estate with amplified investment going into repairs as well as refurbishments, alongside the development of our new managed house business; taking four previously-tenanted pubs back under direct management plus the Visitor Centre which won a Gold Accolade in 2015 from Visit England. These are all part of our long term business strategy to remain a vertically integrated brewer and pub operator.”
Robinsons said that in provision of such significant and increased investment into all areas of its business, its annual operating profit for 2014 has reduced slightly from £1.3m to £1m despite an increase in sales.
Earlier this year, Robinsons announced the “most unique refurbishment” in its history when it revamped The Airport Pub & Grill near Manchester Airport. Foodservice equipment installer Sprint Group was contracted to oversee the project and led the installation of the commercial kitchen and bar.