Results were boosted by a strong trading performance in all areas of the business and effective management of costs.
But William Robinson, managing director (pub division) warned of “uncertain political and economic times” and said that one of the biggest challenges faced by the company and its licensees is increasing costs.
“These are predominantly being driven by external factors, rates re-valuation, National Living Wage, food inflation, Auto Enrolment, and the inflation in Beer Duty,” he said.
“Beyond these issues there is the potential challenges and opportunities that Brexit may bring. Thus, we remain vigilant.”
Robinsons’ managed estate now stands at 10 pubs with several major investments completed in 2016 including The Mulberry in Conwy, Royal Ship in Dolgellau, and a new “runway bar” in the beer garden at The Airport near Manchester Airport.
Investment at the Queen’s Head in Troutbeck, which was devastated by fire in June 2014, straddled the year. These investments have created 123 new jobs.
Within the tenanted estate, which comprises 270 pubs, Robinsons invested in 17 major development schemes in 2016 including the George & Dragon in Beaumaris, Alvanley Arms in Cotebrook, Waggon & Horses in Matley, Ribchester Arms in Ribchester, and White Swan in Great Sutton.
Robinson said: “2016 was a good year but it was also a year of learnings and refinement. Our core tenanted business continues to trade well, benefiting from several years of investment in design, marketing, training, and tenant recruitment.
“We have some of the best pubs in the North West, run by some very talented and passionate people to whom we strive to provide the very best licensee support and training.”
“The growth and revenue from our managed estate is in line with expectations. Major investment in people and infrastructure is facilitating growth and further development in this area, and puts us in a strong position to take advantage of its future potential.
“Although there is still a lot of work, and a long way to go, we have a clear vision and a solid strategy for both our tenanted and managed pubs. Investments has been a key driver over the last five years and we will continue to invest in our pubs, our people, and our beers, to ensure we maintain this success.”
He added that Robinsons is continuing to look to acquire the “right” pubs to further strengthen its portfolio and to focus on making the “right” investment decisions for the long term, organic evolution of its business.
PICTURE: William Robinson (left) MD Pub Division and Oliver Robinson MD Beer Division