The brewer saw its turnover drop by 9% to £103 million, which it said “reflected the sale of the free trade business”. The sale also affected profits of £6.4 million (after tax), which were up 73.5%.
Chief executive Scott Waddington said: “This has been a landmark year for the company following the sale of the free trade business, while also navigating a particularly difficult set of trading conditions.
“The sale has enabled us to fully focus on and invest in our brewing and pubs business whilst making our beer brands more widely available through Heineken UK’s comprehensive distribution network.
“Significant progress has been made in our take-home business. Our beer volumes for the year grew by 1.2% in a market that was 6.4% down on a national basis.
“It was difficult to grow income in the underlying business while having to absorb a number of increased costs that we could do little to control.
“The recent 5% increase in beer duty on top of the 20% increase experienced over the past two years is unhelpful to the brewing industry and will put further jobs at risk across the sector.
“While we remain cautious about the trading conditions that we expect to experience in 2010, we remain committed to giving our customers good reasons to drink our beers. We intend to increase investment in the marketing of our brands.”