Hospitality & Tourism

Published: October 14, 2019 | Updated: October 14, 2019

Family-owned brewery company toasts pre-tax profits of £6m despite “significant headwinds”

Staff at The Duchess of Cornwall at Poundbury celebrate a top food hygiene rating. It is one of 52 pubs in Hall & Woodhouse’s managed estate.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Dorset independent brewery company Hall and Woodhouse notched up pre-tax profits of just over £6m in its last financial year.

The 242-year-old firm, which has a managed house estate of 52 pubs including 14 in Dorset, made a pre-tax profit of £6,020m in the 12 months to January 26, according to full-year accounts filed with Companies House.

That compares to £9,286m in the previous year but that figure included a £3,262m gain from the sale of property.

Turnover increased by 4.3 per cent to £114,8m (2018: £110,11m).

Mark Woodhouse, who stepped down as Chairman earlier this year, said the company had performed strongly despite “significant headwinds across a number of areas within the business.”

He added: “As with previous years, and in line with our ongoing strategy, we continue to invest heavily behind our pubs, our brands and our teams. Borrowings increased slightly to £56.5m (2018: £51.5m).”

In January Matthew Kearsey took over as Managing Director while former MD Anthony Woodhouse was elected Chairman at the company’s annual meeting in May.

The 2019 accounts reveal Hall and Woodhouse employed 1,431 people during the year with the directors receiving total emoluments of £2,333m (2018: £2,092m).

The highest paid director received £362,000 including a £93,000 bonus.

Auditors Nexia Smith & Williamson were paid £47k (2018: £38k) for audit services.

Hall & Woodhouse was founded in 1777 by Charles Hall who opened a brewery in the village of Ansty. It is still family owned and currently under the seventh generation stewardship of Mark and Anthony Woodhouse.

The company brews the award-winning Badger ales as well as running the managed house estate of 52 pubs.

Hall & Woodhouse has invested more than £30m into Dorset over the past five years, on top of its regular and extensive charity donations.