StockMarketWire.com - Young & Co' Brewery's first-half pretax profit rose 9.9% to £14.9m, from £13.6m. Revenue was up 8% to £108.2m, from £100.2m. It proposed an interim dividend of 7.45p a share, up 6.1% from 7.02p.

It also reported positive trading since the period end with managed house revenue in first seven weeks of second half up 7.7% in total, up 4.6% on like-for-like basis.

"This has been an excellent six months for Young's, especially when set against the strong comparators of last year when London was reveling in the Golden Jubilee and Olympics," CEO Stephen Goodyear said.

"Our well located premium pubs, many with riverside locations or attractive gardens, have allowed us to make the most of the warm summer. We have also benefited from the improvement in consumer sentiment in London and the south of England, where we are focused. What the past five years have shown however, is that we are capable of generating profitable growth come rain or shine, and even in a very tough economic climate," Goodyear said.

"Trading in the early part of the second half has been good, and we will continue to invest in both our Young's and Geronimo estates - and in both pubs and hotels. Overall, we feel positive about the year as a whole."

Highlights included:

- Managed house revenue up 9.0% to £102.3 million, with same outlet like-for-like sales up 6.0%. Managed house operating profit up 16.9%;

- Further investment has improved the quality of the estate, with £17.7 million invested in first half; recent new openings performing very strongly;

- Net debt increased slightly to £113.5 million, owing to investment in estate and four freehold acquisitions, but continuing to fall as multiple of EBITDA (2.6 times);






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