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Hardys turn in annual growth.

Brewer and pubs group Hardys & Hansons toasted expansion yesterday after seeing half-year profits rise 11 per cent.

The group which runs 85 managed pubs and owns more than 170 tenanted houses across the East Midlands, made operating profits of pounds 6.2 million on turnover of pounds 33.7 million in the six months to April 4.

Growth was driven by solid like-for-like sales increases and margin improvements although the later Easter this year had a slight impact on the figures - with last year's earlier holiday boosting first half profits.

A capital investment programme over the last two years has seen a number of new sites added to the group's portfolio as well as upgrading existing pubs.

The Nottingham-based company said the investment had translated into significant profit increases ahead of its expectations.

Meanwhile the beers operation, which runs the Kimberley brewery in Nottingham, saw strong volume growth for seasonal cask ales. Contract brewing output was also well ahead of the same period last year with new products coming on stream. Hardys now produces three beers for two major brewers.

And the firm's newest product, Olde Trip, which is named after the oldest pub in England, the twelfth century Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem in Nottingham, has seen encouraging sales since its launch in April.

Bottom line pre-tax profits jumped from pounds 6 million to pounds 10.6 million but stripping out the benefits from the sale of a piece of land near the brewery for development, the figure was pounds 6.4 million.

The interim dividend is increased by 12 per cent to 6.60p.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jun 7, 2003
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