The Leicester Mercury reports the company as saying the results reflected
“strong trading performance in all parts of the business and effective management of costs”.
Turnover was up slightly to £31.6 million.
The brewer, located next to Fosse Park, said healthy trading across its 176 pubs meant sales of beer to licensees frothed 5.1 per cent.
Managing director Stephen Gould said:
“The financial year was strong. It certainly exceeded our expectations.”
He said the sales performance in the year was driven by two major factors.
Mr Gould said:
“Firstly, the vast majority of our pubs were fully let, with an average vacancy rate of four out of 176 pubs throughout the year. That stability means we’re able to work with our licensees to invest in the pubs so that Everards pubs are competing in their local communities.
“So it is a combination of stability and investment that has produced the results you see today.”
He added that like-for-like income from the pub estate grew 3.2 per cent in 2015, compared to the previous year.
Everards, maker of Tiger, Beacon and Original ales, brewed 45,000 barrels of beer last year, up 3.7 per cent on the prior year.
Sales to the pub estate of Tiger Best Bitter, Everards’ leading beer brand, rose 2 per cent last year.
Historically, Everards has grown its pub estate by four or five pubs a year, although last year it acquired just one – The Holly Bush, in Alcester, Warwickshire.
Instead, the emphasis in 2015 was on improving its existing pubs portfolio.
The company refurbished 17 pubs last year, spending an average of £81,000 on each project.
Mr Gould said:
“One of the reasons we have been investing so heavily in the estate is that customers are looking for individuality, provenance and authenticity.
“Pubs that deliver the right experience outperform the market, so we have to invest and support our licensees to do that.
“Over the past 18 months we’ve been reducing the Everards branding so that the pubs are not presented as “the brewery pub”, but with the individual licensee’s personality coming through.
“This is a very important theme in a crowded market.”
Almost half the beer Everards brewed in 2015 was for other companies, as the company sought to maximise sales from its Castle Acres site in Everard Way.
Relocation, and the development of ‘Everards Meadows’
Everards plans to reduce its reliance on third party customers when it relocates its brewery to a new site called Everards Meadows, on land between Soar Valley Way and the county police headquarters at Enderby. (Artist impression at top of news item)
Enderby Parish Council has been consulted with regard to the development proposals and Blaby District Council is currently considering two detailed planning applications, one for the development of Everards Meadows which will include a new Everards office, brewery, innovation centre and tasting rooms, as well as a cafe bar, a restaurant and cycle centre.
The other application is for its brewery site at Castle Acres and has been submitted in conjunction with retail giant Next and the Crown Estate, joint owner of Fosse Park.
The application includes plans for 26 shops, restaurants and cafes, and a big Next store.
It is anticipated that both applications will be determined shortly and Mr Gould said the relocation plans continue to “progress well”.