McEwan’s owners report steady progress

McEwan’s and Younger’s beers owner Charles Wells Ltd has announced a year of steady progress and a significant reduction in its debt in its annual results for the financial year to 28th September 2013. The results incorporate the performance of individual trading sectors of the business including Wells & Young’s Brewing Company, Charles Wells Pub Company and John Bull Pub Company.

Borrowings at the end of the year were £44.7m, a reduction of £18.8m on the previous year which was driven by the sale of its distribution depot in Bedford and the company divesting Kestrel Super Strength beer.
Trading performance showed a fall in sales income of £7.9m to £181.6m and operating profit before exceptional costs was £0.4m lower than last year at £6.2m. This decrease was anticipated because of the loss of third-party brewing contracts and the sale of Kestrel but was, in part, offset by the exceptional income from the sale. Profit after tax was up 8% and adjusted EBITDA for the Group fell 20% to £13.9m.

Wells & Young’s sales fell £8m to £161.9m, reflecting the sale of Kestrel which had contributed sales of £8.7m the previous year. The decision to sell was in line with the business’s strategic plan to reduce exposure to the super-strength lager market and develop a clearly defined portfolio which saw a number of new product launches including Wells DNA and McEwan’s Red.

An outstanding balance to Young & Co’s Brewery plc of £5m remains for the purchase of the Wells & Young’s Brewing co Ltd shares and will be paid in February 2014.

Commenting on the results Paul Wells, Chairman of Charles Wells Ltd, said “We can report a year of steady progress with financial results being better than forecast at last year’s Annual General Meeting. Net profit before tax for the year grew slightly and overall trading has been better than expected, with good summer weather, new initiatives and new markets all key features in growing sales.

Category: News
Tags: Beer, Charles Wells, mcewan's, Paul Wells