Page last updated at 09:59 GMT, Saturday, 22 August 2009 10:59 UK

Real ale revival boosts profits

A thirst for real ale has helped a Suffolk brewer return to profit, despite gloomy predictions for 2009.

Southwold-based Adnams said it had bounced back from a "very difficult year" in 2008.

The group has reported pre-tax profits of £882,000 in the six months to 30 June, against losses of £148,000 over the same period last year.

Adnams said it performed better than it had expected and had seen a rise in demand for the real ale market.

In April, it feared 2009 would be a bad year after reporting a 64% slump.

Future downturn

Sales volumes of cask beer rose 1% across the industry in the half-year and Adnams said it sold 2% more of its own beer in the period, despite overall beer sales falling 5.3%.

Turnover increased by 3% to £23.4m, with the group assisted by the spring and early summer sunshine in lifting business.

Jonathan Adnams, chairman of the firm, said he was pleased with the results but remained cautious.

"It is clear that we face a period of considerable economic uncertainty," he said.

"Whilst we have seen some revival after a gloomy start to 2009, it is quite possible that we will see another downturn in the not-too-distant future."

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