Managed pubs help boost profits at Spirit

Strong sales at its managed pubs have helped boost sales and pre-tax profits at Spirit Pub Company.

The group, which owns the Flaming Grill and Chef & Brewer chains, says that in the year to August 18th 2012, it saw earnings increase by five per cent to £146 million, with profit before tax up 16 per cent to £51 million.

This growth was driven by the firm's managed pubs, whose performance could see Spirit step up its hospitality employment in the near future as it looks to further expand this section of the business.

The group's annual results show that like-for-like sales at the pubs under its management were up 4.8 per cent for the year, helping to drive a 13 per cent rise in operating profit to £73 million.

During the period covered by the results, Spirit has continued with an extensive investment programme for its managed pubs, which saw 178 refurbishments completed, taking the proportion of its estate now refurbished and branded to 79 per cent.

"We have delivered further strong growth in managed sales through continued investment in our brands, estate, infrastructure and people while cost control has been robust in the face of inflationary pressures, enabling continued expansion of managed margin," said Mike Tye, Spirit's chief executive officer.

However, the news was less positive for the group's tenanted pub sector, where like-for-like net income was down 4.9 per cent in comparison to last year.

But Mr Tyre pointed out that this performance was in line with the group's expectations, adding that "we have now laid the foundations from which to drive performance improvement". 

He said: "The consumer environment remains tough but our ongoing focus on delivering retail excellence sees us well placed to make further progress in the year ahead."

Altogether, Spirit owns around 800 managed pubs across the UK, as well as 500 pubs that it leases to tenants.

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