Pub operator Wear Inns sees sales surge by more than 50%

Pub operator Wear Inns has seen sales surge by more than 50% following the acquisition of 11 pubs over the last year

John Weir, MD of Wear Inns
John Weir, MD of Wear Inns

Pub operator Wear Inns has seen sales surge by more than 50% following the acquisition of 11 pubs over the last year.

The company’s turnover for the year to March has risen to £11.75m from £7.4m in 2012 – an increase of 58.4%

The Castle Eden-headquartered firm reported total losses of £302,000 due to one-off extraordinary costs, but also noted a 54.7% increase in gross trading profit in the year having made a pre-tax profit of £64,000 in 2012.

A heady summer across its 26 pubs in the North East and Yorkshire boosted trading, with the last eight weeks showing a further year-on-year increase of 20% and profit up 23%.

Managing director John Weir said: “It has been a challenging year but our investments are showing some good results.

“We have concentrated on integrating the 11 new pubs we bought in 2012 into the business and this has gone well.

“We are now looking at further acquisitions – concentrating on bigger pubs with a larger turnover without compromising our values of high amenities and providing great value, all day every day.”

Wear Inns moved into the old offices of the Castle Eden Brewery in County Durham last December after becoming the biggest independent operator in the region in terms of volume of beer sold.

Since Weir and the company’s chairman John Sands formed Wear Inns in 2006, the workforce has grown from 105 to 265.

“We are continuing to carry out extensive refurbishments at all the pubs we acquired – the Black Bull in Morpeth and Porter Cottage in Sheffield being next on the list,” said Weir.

“The speed at which we have grown has been challenging and if you take out the pubs we bought at various times in 2012 from the results, our like-for-like profit to March was actually 3.2% up on the previous year.

“We are on a very sound financial footing and committed to looking at opportunities to expand the estate in the North East and Yorkshire. Our pubs are at the heart of the community but also supporting and promoting local businesses.

“I would like to thank all our staff for their efforts, our suppliers and our customers for their support.”

The company raised £10m in May 2012: £2m from NVM Private Equity and £8m from the Business Growth Fund.

It bought nine pubs from Tattershall Castle Group the same day.

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