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The Swan Hotel redevelopment hits Adnams’ profits despite sales rise

PUBLISHED: 18:42 10 August 2017 | UPDATED: 18:42 10 August 2017

Jonathan Adnams. Picture: SARAH GROVES.

Jonathan Adnams. Picture: SARAH GROVES.

Sarah Groves

Turnover has risen at an East Anglian brewery but profits have fallen due to the closure and redevelopment of its hotel.

Southwold-based Adnams generated revenue of £33.2m for the six months to June 30, up 6% from £31.2m in the same period last year, but saw pre-tax profits drop from £1.86m to a loss of £284,000.

Chairman Jonathan Adnams said the renovations to The Swan Hotel, in Southwold, had led to unexpected costs with £600,000 being spent on removing asbestos which was discovered during the work.

Adnams, a member of the EDP/EADT Top 100 list of Norfolk and Suffolk’s biggest companies by turnover, has written off a total of £721,000 over work on the hotel, which it expects to reopen in early autumn. Mr Adnams said 2017 would see the business reach its highest ever level of investment.

In his statement he added: “Sales to shops and supermarkets were particularly strong and total beer volumes were up by 9% compared to 2016.

“Adnams spirits enjoyed a very substantial uplift in turnover with volumes 92% higher than in 2016.”

While uncertainty surrounding Brexit has created a challenging environment, Mr Adnams said the firm had tried to give itself the flexibility to tackle whatever might come.

He said: “In our core business of brewing and drinks production we have invested in equipment that has allowed us to meet the needs of our consumers.

“We think this flexibility will continue to stand us in good stead in future years and we will continue to invest for the long term and seek to grow in the belief that we can provide what our customers want.”

As well as continued growth in it spirits distilling division, Adnams also grew its managed property business, taking on the Bell at Walberswick, Suffolk, and the Harbour Inn, Southwold.

Despite challenges created by the rising cost of importing wine Adnams said its shops had performed well and the company plans to “gradually extend [its] presence over the next few years”.

The brewery, which employs 489 people, said its pale ale Ghost Ship, which was its best seller in 2016, remained a key driver of sales but Mosaic Pale Ale had also performed well.

Mr Adnams also paid tribute to his father John Adnams, who died in July, in his statement.

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