North West brewery Robinsons has increased its turnover during the year ending 31 December 2016 by 7.9 per cent, to £68.3m. Profit before tax was also up by 13.3 per cent to £4.1m.

Managing director (pub division) William Robinson (pictured above left) said: 2016 was a good year for the company’s 270 pubs, “but it was also a year of learnings and refinement”.

However, he had some concerns for the future.

Robinson said: “We live in uncertain political and economic times. One of the biggest challenges we and our licensees face is increasing costs. These are predominantly being driven by external factors, rates re-valuation, National Living Wage, food inflation, Auto Enrolment, and the inflation in beer duty.

“Beyond these issues there is the potential challenges and opportunities that Brexit may bring. Thus, we remain vigilant.”

And the company was confident that its brewing division would continue to prosper.

Managing director (beer division) Oliver Robinson (pictured above right)  said: “2016 was a very active year with a strong set of results.  Despite being in a challenging market, our brew house continues to perform well, driven by 13 per cent growth in off trade sales, as our beers become more widely available.

“We are now dealing with all the major off trade grocers. We’re seeing double digit sales growth in national sales and continued growth in free trade. These areas of the business, together with export, are becoming increasingly important in our sales mix and we expect this growth to continue in the coming years.”

The company has also taken steps to brew smaller batches of beer and has converted two fermenting vessels to take smaller brew batches. The move helped to increase capacity by 4,000 barrels per annum.

In addition to its core range, 14 new beers were brewed during 2016, five of which were created in collaboration with licensees and two new craft beers, Beardo and Mojo, brewed for the off trade

The company’s seasonal beers were up six per cent versus 2015 demonstrating the increasing need for innovation to move forward in a crowded market. Once again, Trooper continues to perform extremely well in the export market Oliver Robinson says there are even bigger plans for 2018 as the beer approaches its 5th anniversary.

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