Brewery and pub owner Liberation Group has reported a strong start to 2022 and a bumper Platinum Jubilee long weekend at the beginning of this month.
The group – which trades as Liberation in the Channel Islands and Butcombe in the UK - made a £14m loss in 2020 as it saw sales drop significantly due to the pandemic.
But last year, it bounced back to make a £1.3m profit after tax.
This week, Chief Executive Jonathan Lawson gave an update.
He said: “The new financial year has started strongly with record sales and profitability being delivered in the first four months of the year and it was wonderful for the Managed Pub business to achieve a hat trick at this year’s Publican Awards in March.
“Trade has been particularly strong in the UK and Guernsey and a clear recovery is visible in Jersey thanks to the return of tourism and an increase in footfall from the financial district in St Helier, resulting in Channel Island Managed Pubs delivering broadly flat ‘like for likes’ vs 2019.”
He added: “Like-for-like sales within our UK Managed Pubs in the 17 weeks to 28 May 2022 at + 32% (vs 2019) continued to be well ahead of the sector and it is fantastic to see double digit volume growth from our Butcombe Brewing Business in April and May.
“Our new range of exciting keg ales and lagers is driving this growth and it is heartening to see the strong recovery in cask led by Butcombe Original.
“Our Liberation Brewery in Jersey complements our larger volume Butcombe Brewery and deservedly picked up a World Champion award for Liberation IPA at this year’s prestigious International Brewing Awards.
“They are also now producing a range of small batch cask ales that is perfectly in tune with the market. Looking forward we are confident that this will be a record year for our combined OBV volumes from our two breweries, comfortably exceeding 30,000 barrels.”
Mr Lawson concluded: “The Platinum Jubilee Weekend delivered a fantastic week of sales across our group and in all markets with a number of our pubs delivering record weekly sales. We were delighted that so many customers chose to celebrate this unique event with us.”
Pictured top: Liberation Group CEO Jonathan Lawson.
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