Good year for Suffolk-based Adnams

Suffolk-based brewing, distilling and leisure retail company Adnams yesterday reported increased underlying profits for 2011 despite 'continuing difficult economic circumstances'.

The Southwold company posted total sales of �54.570m for the year to December 31, up 7.2pc from �50.912m in 2010, and operating profit before exceptional items grew by 2.8pc, from �3.188m to �3.277m.

At the bottom line, pre-tax profit fell from �2.818m to �1.299m, reflecting a �1.7m impairment provision in relation to property valuations, which was partly off-set by a reduction in interest charges.

However, in view of the improved operating profit, the final dividend will be increased from �1.22 to �1.25 per share.

'The Adnams business enjoyed a good year in 2011, in continuing difficult economic circumstances,' said company chairman Jonathan Adnams.

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'For many years Adnams has championed the importance of taking a long-term view. We firmly believe that it is by taking a values-based approach to business, building trust and loyalty with our customers, employees and shareholders that we carve a path to sustainable business success.

'By investing for the long-term, we have been able to make reductions in our carbon emissions and it is this approach that has contributed to our being able to hold Adnams beer prices for the 4th consecutive year.

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'We continue to innovate with new products and have been delighted with the success of Ghost Ship, and with Sole Star, our full-flavoured 2.7% abv beer which we launched just before Christmas.

'During 2011 we brewed over 30 different Adnams beers, bringing back many well-known favourites such as Old Ale, which was crowned Champion Beer of East Anglia. It is enormously pleasing that recipes which we have been brewing for 100 years are still winning awards today.'

He added: 'As ever, I am immensely proud of the work we have done throughout the year with our communities. The Adnams Charity, now in its 21st year has awarded over �800,000 to good causes within a 25-mile radius of Southwold during this time.

'We continue to support a wide variety of local and national events from Suffolk Dog Day to the Tour of Britain cycling event. Our own Adnams 10k run in Southwold now attracts over 700 people and has become a firm fixture in our calendar and we were delighted to welcome back Olympic legend Steve Cram once again in 2011.'

Looking ahead, Mr Adnams said that economic uncertainty was greater now than at any recent time, but the business would retain its long-term focus.

'Despite sounding a note of caution about economic uncertainty, our response to the current conditions is to keep an eye on costs, but we will not be distracted from our long-term goals and will continue to invest for the future,' he added.

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