UK: Charles Wells sees FY profits slide, appoints new brewing MD

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FY profits (after tax) fall by 9% to GBP6m
Net sales flat at GBP189m
EBITDA rises by 4% to GBP17.4m
International sales up 28% year-on-year

Charles Wells has reported a slide in full-year profits as it continues to feel the impact of losing the rights to Corona Extra and Red Stripe lagers in the UK.

Profits after tax fell by 9% to GBP6m (US$9.72m) in the 12 months to the end of September, the company, which incorporates Wells & Young’s Brewing Company, Charles Wells Pub Company and John Bull Pub Company, said today (18 December). Sales in the period were flat at GBP189m.

EBITDA increased by 4% to GBP17.4m in the 12 months.

The group said it had expected a fall in overall profits as the “full effect” of losing Red Strip and Corona in 2010 was felt. However it said the drop was offset by the acquisition of McEwan’s and Younger’s brands last year.

In international makets, the Bedford-based group saw a bounce in sales, up 27.7% year-on-year.

The group’s wine company, Cockburn & Campbell, reported a 6% rise in sales, with volumes up 2.8%.

Meanwhile, Charles Wells’ FD Justin Phillimore has been appointed as Wells & Young’s new MD, replacing Nigel McNally who left in September.

A new group HR director, Andrea Holton, has also been appointed.

Both start their roles on 7 January.

Paul Wells, Charles Wells’ chairman, said the group’s performance has been “in line with expectations”. He added: “Our international sales and pub operations have demonstrated that growth is possible at home and overseas, despite the difficulties of the global economy, and our wine company has also delivered excellent growth.”