Profits rise at Brighton pub chain despite seafront works hitting trade

Posted On 03 Mar 2017 at 11:55 pm

Profits rose at Brighton’s biggest pub chain last year despite the detrimental effect on trade of repairs to the seafront road, arches and shelter hall.

The Laine Pub Company said: “The group has seen strong sales growth during 2016.

“The established Brighton estate performed well during the year with sales up nearly 5 per cent and ebitda (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) up nearly 7 per cent.

“Performance for the sector was pegged back, however, by major infrastructure works by Brighton and Hove City Council to the lower esplanade on Brighton seafront directly in front of the Tempest and the Fortune of War which are two of the group’s best performing sites.

“This caused external trading space to be compromised from the beginning of the high season.

“Sites in the Brighton estate that saw significant investment during the year were the Western Front, the World’s End and the Norfolk – the latter being relaunched as the Revelator.

“The Laine Pub Company entered into an associated undertaking with Enterprise Inns called Mash Inns. Mash Inns is Enterprise’s second ‘managed expert’ company.”

Mash Inns has taken over the lease on the Albion, in Church Road, Hove, which reopened last night (Thursday 2 March) as the Old Albion. Laine’s has almost 40 pubs in Brighton and Hove.

Albion pub - glass window detail
During the financial year, to the end of June 2016, the company disposed of the Freebutt, in Phoenix Place, Brighton.

The company said that it was earning excellent returns from previous recent refurbishments – the Hope and Ruin, in Queen’s Road, and Dead Wax Social, formerly Riki Tik, in Bond Street. They “performed strongly for the 12 months”.

The Laine Pub Company generated sales or turnover of £30.4 million, up from £27.5 million a year earlier. Operating profit was £1.15 million, up from £337,000, and the pre-tax profit was £488,000 compared with a £403,000 loss.

The company said that operational ebitda was the group’s key performance indicator. It totalled £3.87 million in 2016, up from £3.12 million in 2015.

It said that the opening of the Adversane brewery would mean being able to produce “a brand new range of Laine’s craft beers that will be available to all sites in the estate which will bring significant and swift improvements to the group’s craft beer margins”.

This would relieve pressure on the four micro breweries, including the one in Brighton, and mean an end to contract brewing with third parties.

The company added that further acquisitions were planned for 2017 which would grow the company’s London estate.

And the investment programme in refits and relaunches would continue in further sites in the Brighton estate.

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