Midlands expansion on the cards for Amber Taverns

AMBER Taverns has identified the Midlands as fertile ground for its expansion plans.

The Lancashire business is seeking to revive unloved and under-invested urban pubs and enjoyed record returns last year.

Figures released by the firm for the year to February show pre-tax profits were up 22% to £3.9m on sales of £33.2m, up 30%. Earnings before, interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were up 33.3% to £6.8m.

Like-for-like sales grew 2% and it opened 11 new pubs during the period. Since the year end it has opened three pubs in the West Midlands and one in St Helens.

Amber, backed by private equity firm LGV Capital, has an estate of 86 pubs mostly in the North West, Midlands and North Wales.

Chairman Clive Preston said: “I am pleased to report another year of substantial progress for Amber Taverns, with a solid performance from our core estate and new acquisitions continuing to deliver returns in excess of 20%.

“The Amber model of a well invested pub offering consistent value for money, together with an incentivised operator allied with managed house retailing disciplines and standards, continues to produce consistently good returns and cash flows from wet-led pubs despite the pressures on our customers’ disposable incomes.

“I remain confident that the sector will continue to throw up numerous opportunities for us, particularly as we further develop our presence in the Midlands, not only to keep growing but also to reinforce the strengths of our model in developing viable and sustainable pub businesses.

“We enter the new financial year with a strong pipeline of acquisitions identified and the directors remain confident for the year ahead.”