RECORD YEAR FOR JW LEES
JW Lees has posted a record year in the 12 months to 31st March 2015 with turnover at £64m (+ £1.1m / + 1.8%) and pre-tax profits at £5.6m (+ £1m / + 22.3%). During the year JW Lees invested £4.9m in its business including the acquisition of three new pubs, The Parrswood in Didsbury, The Kingfisher in Kirkham and The Hinchliffe in Cragg Vale. There have been several senior personnel changes with Tony Spencer joining in July 2015 as Director of Retail with the brief to lead the growth of JW Lees Managed Pubs and Hotels Division. Roy Ellis, co-founder of Inventive Leisure, and Collette Roche, Director of Manchester Airport Group, both joined JW Lees as non-executive advisers during the year succeeding Sally Hopson, CEO of Pets at Home Vet Group, and Stephen Kalton, founder of Watling Street Inns, who both stepped down. Other highlights included Moonraker winning a gold medal at the CAMRA Winter Ales Festival, JW Lees winning the Family Business United 2015 Northern Family Business of the Year and JW Lees team members collecting a total profit-share of £440,812 as a result of the company’s strong results. During the year the company sold some land ancillary to its pub estate and used this as an opportunity to accelerate the churn of 12 bottom end pubs, meaning that JW Lees has now has an estate of 149 pubs comprising 36 managed houses, 111 tenancies and 2 hotels. William Lees-Jones, sixth generation Managing Director of JW Lees said, ‘2015 has been a landmark year for JW Lees and we believe that our strong values and no-nonsense ‘Be Yourself’ approach are at the heart of our success. We have delivered against our five-year plan that we drew up following the challenges and effects of the ban on smoking in public places. Aggregated sales over the last five years from 2010 to 2015 have been £297m and aggregated pre-tax profits in the same period of £23.1m: this means that pre-tax profits over the five years have grown by 60% in total with steady growth in most years and pre-tax profits before property disposals at £3.5m, £3.9m, £5.2m, £4.6m and £5.6m in each year. JW Lees is a long-term family business and we are proud to continue to build a high-quality brewing and pub business. We are attracting top talent to work with us including our new and now expanded graduate trainee programme and in 2015 we created 66 new jobs including a series of high level appointments who will help us with the capacity that we need to deliver future growth. We see the Government’s Northern Powerhouse strategy as a great opportunity for JW Lees to cement our position as the leading vertically integrated brewer in the North West of England.’ JW Lees remains committed to growing its business through the acquisition of both managed and tenanted pubs and during the year we looked at a large number of potential new sites including group acquisitions. JW Lees remains an active buyer of high quality pubs.