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Wolv.& Dudley Brews. (WOLV)

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Wednesday 29 March, 2006

Wolv.& Dudley Brews.

Trading Statement

Wolverhampton& Dudley Breweries PLC
29 March 2006


                                                                   29 March 2006



               The Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries, PLC ('W&DB')


                           24 Weeks Trading Statement



In accordance with its usual practice, the Board of The Wolverhampton & Dudley
Breweries, PLC has issued the following trading update* prior to the end of the
current half-year on 1 April 2006.



Trading

Trading overall in the 24 weeks to 18 March 2006 has been satisfactory and in
line with expectations.


Total like-for-like sales in Pathfinder pubs were 2.2% ahead of last year in the
9 weeks since we last reported at the Annual General Meeting on 20 January 2006
and are 1.0% ahead of last year for the 24-week period from 2 October 2005.


In The Union Pub Company, like-for-like sales remain 1.0% ahead of last year for
the same 24-week period.


The Group's operating margin remains above last year despite the impact of
higher energy prices and the increased minimum wage as a result of good
management of costs.


This year, the Easter bank holiday, which fell in the first half-year last year,
falls in the second half-year. The like-for-like figures quoted exclude Easter
trading last year.



Celtic Inns ('Celtic')

The acquisition of Celtic for £43.6m was completed on 17 March 2006 with the
integration of systems expected to be complete by the end of March. The 70 pubs
acquired are a good geographical and operational fit. The acquisition also
represents an excellent opportunity for Celtic tenants to access W&DB's industry
leading agreements and a much wider brands portfolio.



Transfer of managed pubs to tenancy

As previously highlighted, an advantage of our operating model is that it gives
considerable flexibility in managing cost pressures. We have identified 93 pubs
which will transfer from Pathfinder Pubs to The Union Pub Company at the end of
March 2006. As a result we expect to reduce operating costs, helping to offset
increases in energy costs and the minimum wage, demonstrating the flexibility of
our integrated business model.





Commenting:

Ralph Findlay, Chief Executive, said: 'We remain cautious about the outlook for
consumer spending, and anticipate that legislative and cost pressures will
continue. However, we have one of the highest quality estates in the industry
and a range of great value offers. As a result, we are continuing to make good
progress.'





ENQUIRIES:

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



* The update covers the 24 week period ended 18 March 2006. The results for the
26 week period ending on 1 April 2006 (the interim results) will be released on
26 May 2006.


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                      This information is provided by RNS
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