Profits steady at Scottish bar operator

Steve MallonScottish bar operator Maclay Group said it was making “strong” progress in 2013 after today announcing operating profits and sales were flat in the last financial year.

In the year to September 29, sales were level with the previous year at £10.4million while operating profits were steady at £700,000. The company said the results reflected “the tough market conditions affecting the pub sector in the face of the difficult economic climate”.

The company added that it was confident for the year ahead, bolstered by strong Christmas trading results which saw a four per cent increase in like-for-like sales across the group between December 16 and January 5. Total sales for the three-week festive period amounted to £1,094,985 – an increase of £45,000.

Managing director Steve Mallon (pictured) said: “The year was dominated by economic pressures suppressing customer demand but I am pleased with the robust response from our staff who pulled together to keep operating costs tightly controlled thus ensuring that margins were maintained.”

During the year, Maclay linked up with brewer Tennent Caledonian which became the group’s main beer supplier alongside providing investment for the business.

Steve said: “Following the equity investment by Tennent’s Caledonian Brewery (TCB) early in 2012, the company’s financial position is strong and positions us well for the year ahead.”

Maclay’s first acquisition under its new funding and supply deal with TCB was The Captain’s Rest in Glasgow’s West End which was launched in February as craft beer bar Munro’s after a £400,000 investment. Click here for Bar magazine’s profile of Munro’s.

Its flagship bar The Tullie Inn in Balloch has also just reopened after a £700,000 renovation.

Steve added: “These investments are core to our on-going plans to grow the quality and scale of our portfolio across the central belt. Further acquisitions are under negotiation and we expect to report 2013 as a year of real progress.”

Maclay operates 27 managed bars and inns across Scotland including the Lansdowne Bar & Kitchen, Three Judges, DRAM, Munro’s and the Clockwork Beer Co in Glasgow; the Tullie Inn, Balloch; the West Port Bar & Kitchen in St Andrews and the Southsider in Edinburgh. Maclay Inns manages pubs owned by a number of Enterprise Investment Scheme companies including Thistle Pubco II plc and Thistle Pubco III plc.

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