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Wolv.& Dudley Brews. (WOLV)

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Friday 20 January, 2006

Wolv.& Dudley Brews.

AGM Statement

Wolverhampton& Dudley Breweries PLC
20 January 2006

                                                                 20 January 2006



                   THE WOLVERHAMPTON & DUDLEY BREWERIES , PLC

                                 AGM STATEMENT



At the Annual General Meeting to be held at 12 noon today, Ralph Findlay, Chief
Executive, will give the following up-date on the Company's progress since the
start of the current financial year on 2 October 2005:



'Our performance overall has been in line with our expectations.



Total like-for-like sales for the 15 weeks to 14 January 2006 were 1.0% ahead of
last year in The Union Pub Company and 0.3% ahead in Pathfinder Pubs. This
performance was satisfactory in the light of more subdued trading conditions
compared to last year, and which we described in our Preliminary Results
Statement on 2 December 2005.



The Group's operating margin is above last year as a result of firm trading
margins, the effective integration of acquisitions and good cost management,
which have offset the impact of higher energy prices and the increased minimum
wage.



Net debt at 31 December 2005 was £853.9 million compared to £871.7 million at 1
October 2005.



The new licensing legislation introduced on 24 November 2005 provides
flexibility to extend opening hours where there is clear demand. In practice,
most pubs have responsibly extended opening times by one or two hours on up to
three nights per week, which represents a modest trading benefit.



Looking forward, the government's decision to allow a free vote on amendments to
the proposed Health Bill may result in a universal smoking ban in pubs from
2007. We have anticipated this possible outcome, and continue to invest in the
further development of good quality food offers and making outside trading areas
even more attractive. Over 80% of our pubs have such outside trading areas. We
are well positioned to minimise the risks of a ban and maximise opportunities to
our competitive advantage.



We will continue to use our strong cash flow to enhance shareholder value
through a combination of investment, acquisitions, share buy-backs and dividends
as appropriate.'



ENQUIRIES:
The Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries, PLC             Hudson Sandler
Ralph Findlay, Chief Executive                        Andrew Hayes / Nick Lyon /
Paul Inglett, Finance Director                        Wendy Baker
Tel: 01902 329516                                     Tel: 020 7796 4133




                      This information is provided by RNS
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