Spitfire brewer sees beer uplift

24 March, 2009

Shepherd Neame says that its beer volumes have risen, despite squeezed margins and a turbulent marketplace.

The Kent brewer reported a slight fall in six-month profits, but said that its off-trade business was strong.

Chairman Miles Templeman said: "Total beer volume has grown by 6.7%. Our investment in additional sales staff has opened up new opportunities for brand growth.

"We have achieved a strong performance in take-home and ... a significant increase in Asahi in all channels.

"We have commenced the upgrade of our bottling line with the installation of a new filler and packaging equipment. This project, which will be completed in May 2009, will help us to improve efficiency in this area."

The Spitfire brewer reported a £5.1 million operating profit in the final six months of 2008, down from £5.5 million in the same period of 2007.

Templeman said: "We can withstand the current pressures as we have strong brands and well invested pubs."

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