AIM-quoted landlord the City Pub Group upped its final dividend by half on Thursday as it posted a significant increase in like-for-like sales and pre-tax profits.
Thanks to a 3.8% expansion in like-for-like sales for its 53-week trading year ended 31 December, driven by “good growth” in drink and accommodation sales, City Pub raised its full-year dividend to 2.25p from the 1.50p offered to shareholders a year earlier.
City Pub's pre-tax profits came in at £3.2m, a 102% gain on its previous trading year, but exceptional costs, including a £1.8m expense as a result of its initial public offering back in November, dragged the firm to an overall loss of £200,000, down 133% from the £600,000 profit it posted in 2016.
Looking forward, chairman Clive Watson said total sales for the first 14 weeks of its current trading year were up 22% year-on-year, with 34 sites open and trading.
Watson added that while the snow had adversely impacted trading in City Pub's first quarter, key sporting events such as the World Cup, new pub openings and a strong acquisition pipeline meant the company was confident that it would meet expectations for the year.
As of 1500 BST, shares had collected 1.87% to 163.50p.