Poor weather blamed for sales dip at Young’s

Young’s has blamed the weather for a dip in sales across its pubs group ahead of the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday.

Bosses said like-for-like sales in the 13 weeks to July 2 fell 2.1%, although with new pub openings taken into consideration, sales were up 4.4%.

But they also hope to pick up trade this autumn with the rugby World Cup starting in Japan later this year.

The company said: “When we reported our results in May, we stated that it had been a tough start to the year, with the only good weather coming over the Easter bank holiday.

“That pattern of poor weather has continued with an inevitable effect on our performance.”

By comparison, at last year’s annual general meeting, like-for-like sales jumped 5.2% thanks to the summer heatwave and football World Cup.

Bosses are also expected to tell shareholders at the meeting how the business has benefited from buying the Redcomb group of 15 pubs in London and the South East for £34 million in January.

In a statement, the company added: “We will also see the full year benefit of our major investments in the two hotels we added last year: The Park (Teddington) and The Bridge (Chertsey). We also opened The Depot (Kidbrooke Village) and transferred The New Inn (Ealing) from the Ram Pub Company into the managed house division, with the true benefit coming later in the year following a planned refurbishment.”

Looking forward, the company also said they “remain positive” for the year ahead and made no mention of Brexit – despite several rivals in the retail and leisure space voicing concerns over a no-deal Brexit.

On the rugby World Cup, bosses hope to bring in good business.

They said: “Despite the early morning kick-off times for the tournament, we expect it to be good for trade.”