Welsh pub operator and brewer SA Brain saw its turnover rise 14% to £113.6m in the year to 30 September 2011, with operating profit up 6.2% to £4.5m for the period.
The company also enjoyed an upswing in like-for-like sales of 3.6% among its managed houses, while like-for-likes among its leased and tenanted sites was up 2%.
Cask ale volumes were also up by 5% in managed houses and by 3% in leased and tenanted pubs.
But Brains warned that it was still suffering from the increasing tax burden on pubs, having paid out £46m in tax in the past year.
Chief executive Scott Waddington said: "Everyone in the company has worked extremely hard this year, providing momentum to take the business forward. The tough economic backdrop has been well documented, but despite these challenges the business's performance was creditable, reflecting our underlying strengths. We have grown sales in nearly every trading division, increased investment in our retail estate with positive results, and achieved our operating profit forecast.
"Sponsorship remains the 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.
"Shortly after the end of the financial year we acquired Coffee#1. At that time, the business comprised 15 high-street coffee shops in South Wales and the South-west of England. To date trading has been ahead of expectations, we have opened three new Coffee#1 shops and have identified a number of further potential new sites.
"We have also invested in a new craft brewery, which is currently being installed alongside our existing brewery plant on the Cardiff Brewery site, and will allow us to produce a wider range of beers."
But Brains chairman John Rhys added that the company remained cautious about trading conditions. "We will continue to focus on effectively delivering our customer service offers and also look for growth opportunities such as our diversification into the coffee market," he said.
"We also remain concerned about the Government's apparent lack of support for our industry in terms of the increasing tax burden that we face - in the case of Brains, our total tax bill was around £46m last year, from a business with a turnover of £113m."
Photo: Scott Waddington (left) and John Rhys (right)
By Neil Gerrard
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