July 29 2014 Latest news:
Duncan Brodie, business editor
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Southwold-based Adnams is considering a “major project” to increase brewing capacity, amid signs that its strong trading performance during the second half of last year is continuing.
The EDP/EADT Top100 company, which in March posted an operating profit of £3.3m for 2013, representing a significant turnaround after a 22% fall during the first half of the year, revealed it is considering further investment in its brewery at its annual meeting.
The company told shareholders that the improvement seen during the second half of last year had continued at the start of 2014, with beer sales remaining strong and its retail chain and hotels both performing ahead of 2013.
It cautioned that some of its pubs continued to find conditions “challenging”, with one having been sold at the start of the year and a number of others up for sale, and said “some small changes” were in progress within its shop estate.
“While the economic news has been much more positive over most of the last year, some caution is inevitable,” it said. “UK debt levels remain high and the eurozone continues to face substantial challenges.”
It added: “Nonetheless we will continue to invest for the future and are currently considering a major project to enhance our brewing capacity and flexibility.”
Adnams increased brewing capacity at Southwold just over a decade ago with the installation of a number of new fermentation vessels, which was followed by a refit of the main brewery in 2006-07. Adnams also invested in a new energy-efficiency distribution facility at Reydon, which was completed in 2006, while 2010 saw the addition of a distillery in Southwold.
Adnams said any new project to expand brewing capacity was “unlikely to start before 2015”.