Recent torrential rain has offset the boost of hard-drinking rugby fans for Young & Co.’s Brewery PLC (LON:YNGA).
During October, key weekend trading days were dominated by heavy downpours said the pub chain and although England's great run in the Rugby World Cup boosted sales, the flipside is that November will hit by the absence of internationals at Twickenham.
Sales rose 7.3% to £168mln in the six months to the end of September, reflecting 18 new properties acquired in the past year.
Nevertheless, profit before tax fell 6.4% to £24.3mln, down from £26.4mln in the previous year, on higher tenant compensation and impairment charges.
In its pubs, like-for-like drinks sales got a 0.7% boost, and the brewer said that cooler weather over the summer prompted more customers to choose red wine and Irish draught beer Guinness, which saw 18.4% growth.
This included an element of rebound from last year's record summer temperatures, which saw consumers selecting lighter summer favourites such as Pimm’s and lagers.
Chief executive, Patrick Dardis, said he hopes that the upcoming general election will “bring an end to the current paralysis at Westminster” since the impact that political and economic uncertainty has had on consumer confidence “cannot be underestimated”.
The brewer hasn’t changed its full-year expectations.
“October has been impacted by further poor weather and while the Rugby World Cup gave some boost, this will be negated in November by the subsequent lack of rugby internationals,” noted broker Liberum.
Analysts at the small-cap broker reiterated their ‘buy’ rating on the stock and set a target price of 1760p.
Shares went up 2% to 1,587.2p in midday trading on Thursday.