A BURTON-based pub giant has announced plans to start buying new pubs next year on the back of a ‘great’ set of financial results.
Spirit Pub Company, based in Centrum 100, announced plans to expand its estate in a bid to further grow during 2014, after revealing in the past year it had seen like-for-like sales in its managed estate go up by 1.6 per cent and pre-tax profits increase by six per cent to £54 million.
Bosses at the firm have earmarked up to £45 million alone on improving some of its most popular brands, such as Flaming Grill, with even more cash being lined up to bolster the company with new pubs and restaurants in the new year.
News that the company intends to bolster its property portfolio is also set to create scores of new jobs as it attempts to expand following its financial success.
Chief executive Mike Tye (pictured) said: “I am pleased with the further progress we have made this year in what have been tough trading conditions.
“Our continued focus on the execution of our strategy to deliver hospitality excellence for our guests has delivered a strong financial performance with growth of 6 per cent in profit before tax and earnings per share up 9 per cent.”
However, Spirit did reveal that sales in its leased estate were down by 2.1 per cent.
Mr Tye added: “The focus for 2013-14 will be on a continuation of our innovation trials in both estates alongside our managed refresh programme.
“We therefore expect capital expenditure, excluding pub acquisitions, to be between £40m and £45m which represents the ongoing cost of evolving our brands and offers whilst maintaining our estate and infrastructure in excellent condition.
“In 2013-14 we intend to begin adding pubs to our estate to both supplement organic growthand leverage our highly scalable overheads.
“Our preference is for freehold assets that will be suitable for Fayre & Square or Flaming Grill, both of which are strong food-led value brands with a nationwide appeal.
“We expect to begin the acquisition programme in our second quarter.”
Managed pub like-for-like sales rose four per cent in the first eight weeks of the new financial year and leased pubs started the year in line with expectations with like-for-like net turnover up by around 1.2 per cent.