Thwaites reports operating profit rise 6% to £7.4m

Daniel Thwaites plc has posted an increase in turnover and operating profit for the first half of 2016.

As the company published its half yearly financial report, Chief Executive Officer, Rick Bailey, says it's been a positive six months.

Despite the implementation of the National Living Wage and uncertainty over Brexit, turnover for the company's pubs, inns and hotels is up 5% to £44m (2015: £41.8m) and operating profit up 6% to £7.4m (2015: £7.0m).

He said, 'The Company is in a period of growth and development which is already paying dividends. We have invested £6.4m in new and existing properties in the first half of the year and a further £20m is being invested in the next six months.

'We have plans in the pipeline that will help us develop all aspects of the business and this is putting us in a strong position for the rest of the year. We are growing the business and investing in our existing portfolio which is good news for our staff and our customers.'

Thwaites was boosted recently by news that it secured AA Hotel Group of the Year 2016-17. It has also refreshed its brand identity by bringing Shire Hotels and Inns of Character under the Thwaites umbrella which has culminated in a new website that was launched in the last month.

All this has put Thwaites is a good position for the 2nd half of the financial year. Key highlights from its half yearly financial report include:

• Sales growth in the pubs has been 5% in the first half of the year, and operating profits have grown by 4%.

• In the inns, sales have increased by 5% compared to last year, aided by major refurbishment schemes at The Lion at Settle and Toll House, Lancaster, which were completed in the second half of last year.

• In the hotels & spas, sales for the first half of the year have grown by 7%, which includes the benefit of the additional 30 bedrooms that were completed in December 2015 at Cottons Hotel & Spa, Knutsford.

Among the projects currently underway at Thwaites are the development of a new 54 bedroom lodge, next to The Solent Hotel & Spa, Fareham; the transformation of a derelict property near Lister Arms, Malham, into eight letting bedrooms; development of The Crown at Pooley Bridge, including the addition of 18 letting bedrooms, a riverside dining room and a roof terrace overlooking Ullswater; and refurbishment of several large pub projects, including The Royal at Heysham, Boot & Shoe, Lancaster, and Grill & Grain near Blackburn.

The company is spending £2.3m on pub investment projects in the first half year and embarking on a project to refurbish 20% of all hotel bedrooms during the course of this year.

Plans have also been submitted for the complete renovation of Beverley Arms, Beverley, which was acquired earlier in the year; and a new brewery, head office and stables in Blackburn.

In addition, in the past month Thwaites was named by Chester Council as their preferred partner to redevelop Dee House, a Grade II listed Georgian building which overlooks the amphitheater in Chester.