Wolves Raises a Glass to Pub Sales

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Byline: By Joanna Geary Business Staff

Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries has reassured the market with an increase in sales at its managed Pathfinder pubs.

W&DB, which owns over 2,300 pubs, said Pathfinder had pushed like-for-like sales ahead by 2.2 per cent in the last nine weeks, improving on the latest 0.3 per cent rise it reported at its January annual general meeting.

W&DB had first mentioned subdued trading at its annual results in December, knocking its shares by three per cent despite a 16 per cent increase in profit.

"We remain cautious about the outlook for consumer spending, and anticipate that legislative and cost pressures will continue," chief executive Ralph Findlay said.

"However, we have one of the highest quality estates in the industry and great value offers. As a result, we are continuing to make good progress."

Analyst Greg Feehely at Altium Securities said W&DB's share price had underperformed by 10.4 per cent over the last three months after what was a relatively lacklustre AGM update in January.

"However, given the recently improved performance within the managed pub division this does now look unwarranted. …