Lengthy closure of Swan Hotel in Southwold sees profits fall at Adnams despite ‘year of investment’

Brewer, distiller and operator Adnams has reported a fall in annual profits after the prolonged closure of The Swan Hotel during its refurbishment saw revenue dip.

Despite being hailed as a ‘year of investments’ for the company, operating profit was 45.1% down over the last 12 months, decreasing from £3.937m to £2.159m.

Bottom line pre-tax profits were 69% down, taking a hit from increased interest and pension charges also.

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Turnover however for the 12 months to December grew by 6.4% to £74.765m.

The company said that the delay in reopening The Swan Hotel at Southwold due to the discovery of asbestos during the renovation project had a huge impact, reducing actual operating profit to £1.438m.

Investment across the Adnams business totalled £9.3m last year.

Besides the work at the Swan, which reopened last October, this included the completion of a three-year investment in the brewery and the start of an IT systems upgrade which will continue until the second half of this year.

Within the company’s pub and hotel estate, two more properties were transferred from tenancy to direct management, bringing the total to seven, and this trend was likely to continue in the next few years.

Adnams was also continuing to sell some smaller village pubs which, in the current market, it now felt were better suited to individual or community ownership, he added, such as the current talks in relation to the King’s Head (also known as the Low House) in Laxfield.

Company chairman Jonathan Adnams said: “2017 was a year of huge investment. We saw some inevitable disruption, but we delivered substantial change.

“We continue to focus on what matters most: to deliver a service and product which allows us to stand out from the crowd; to grow the business when and where appropriate, answering increasing market demand; and, above all, to delight our new and loyal customers in everything we do.”

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