Following its landmark brewery sale of its Bedford brewery in 2017, Charles Wells has filed a 227% profit increase up to its year end of September 2018.
That’s £4.6m on its continuing business and a 29.3% increase in underlying operating profit to £5.0m
The brewing business which is now focusing on its pub estate says it’s also managed to keep its commitment to the success of its pub partners, investing £2.3m in thirteen sites over the past 12 months.
They’ve also opened three Pizza Pots & Pints pubs, the Bull Hotel in Olney and two more pubs in France, taking the number of managed houses under the family owned business to 23.
Charles Wells’ chief executive Justin Phillimore said the brewery sale has helped them do what they promised: “Last year saw us making the transition from a largely brand-oriented brewing business to a service-focused pub company that is fit to deliver strong growth for the future.
“We have made a large investment in our pub training and apprenticeship programmes as well as in systems in order to support our growth plans for the future.
“Highlights for the year include some truly excellent developments, recognition at the industry training awards for the quality of our Best in Glass training programme, and the recruitment of some excellent new pub partners.
“With virtually no debt we are in a very strong position to continue to invest both in the UK and France behind our managed pubs and in our pub partners’ businesses.”
Meanwhile, despite Charles Wells brewing at other breweries with its Wandering Brewer Project, most beer loving Bedfordians have been asking one question. “When will the new brewery open?”
As reported in the Bedford Independent in October last year, the new brewery due to be built at Fairhill, just off the A6 near Clapham, has been delayed due to a judicial review.
That judicial review was completed in November last year and yet there’s still no firm evidence of the brewery build starting.
It’s now looking more likely that the brewery won’t be ready to brew until spring 2020.
Justin Phillimore adds: “Whilst the future will continue to remain uncertain for some time, we are confident that great pubs will continue to thrive and that we are well positioned to grow over the next twelve months.
“We’re more conscious than ever that our success rests on that of our pub partners, and as such we’ll continue to prioritise tailored support and investment into their pubs.
“We plan to once again double the size of our UK managed estate, are actively hunting for more great French sites, and of course are excited to return to brewing when our flagship new brewery in Bedford reaches completion in early 2020.”