Last year’s glorious summer and a sunny spring helped beer and pub company Shepherd Neame to a “good year”, its latest annual results show.

Britain ‘s oldest brewery founded in 1698, increased underlying pre-tax profits by eight per cent to £11.2 million and boosted revenues by 12 per cent to £156.2 million.

The Faversham, Kent brewer said it had been helped by spending £10.7 million on renovating its best performing pubs, as well as the acquisition of 14 pubs throughout the year.

The business has a total of 327 pubs, down one on last year, and chief executive Jonathan Neame (pictured) said the company is in a good position to weather economic headwinds from rising inflation and the uncertainties of Brexit.

Neame said the company’s modernisation and premiumisation plan had driven sales performance with own its own beer grands growing by 3.9 per cent, ahead of the overall market.

In the first ten weeks of its current financial year, like-for-like managed sales were up 1.5 per cent and total beer volume grew up 4.4 per cent.

Chairman Miles Templeton said: “Whilst the performance has been good, the short-term horizon is clouded by the inflationary pressures on the business, and the medium-term horizon by the uncertainty over the UK’s exit from the European Union.

“Shepherd Neame is, as has been demonstrated over the years, a resilient and flexible business capable of rapidly adjusting to and succeeding in an ever-changing world.”

“We are mindful of the political and economic backdrop, but our strategic focus on investing for the long term, innovating and consistently delivering great pub environments and outstanding service for our customers will stand us in good stead.

“We remain confident that the actions that have been taken and our relentless pursuit of excellence will continue to deliver good long-term returns for our shareholders.”

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