RISING profits have been reported by St Austell Brewery, the brewer and pub company with its headquarters in St Austell.

Despite challenging trading conditions for the hospitality industry, the company grew its underlying operating profit by 15 per cent to £13.2-million and achieved another year of record turnover - £229.5-milllion - in 2023.

Non-executive chairman Will Michelmore said: “We are very proud of these results given the challenges that the company and wider sector continue to face.

“Costs have increased significantly during this financial year - particularly on food and labour - while the cost-of-living crisis has continued to reduce levels of disposable income and change consumer behaviours.

“Despite the challenging trading environment, demand for our beers and the offer in our pubs has remained strong. We continue to be optimistic about our long-term prospects and remain confident that we have the leadership and focused strategy that will ensure the company’s continued growth and future success.”

Chief executive Kevin Georgel said: “We have continued to invest in our people and our high-quality pub estate, whilst future-proofing our beer brands and drinks portfolio.

“As a result of this continued investment, and the contribution of our dedicated and talented teams, I am confident that we are delivering great experiences for our customers all year round and this is generating strong profit growth.

“Throughout the year inflation reduced from the peak of 2022, however, cost challenges in our sector continued. Considering these sustained headwinds, we are pleased to report a 15 per cent increase in profitability, in addition to delivering record revenues for a second consecutive year.

“These results are testament to our all of our teams as well as our tenanted business partners. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their continued hard work and support.”

Meanwhile, the company has been placed second in a list of the UK’s top pub operators, based on customer feedback and reputation. The list was published by PubTrack.

In another development, St Austell Brewery has announced a new partnership with ScottishPower to install more than 300 new public electric vehicle chargers in pub car parks.