On 8 June 2022, I travelled to London to attend the AGM of the City Pub Group. The company operates 41 pubs in London, the South of England, and Wales. The majority of the pubs serve cask ales and a number have microbreweries attached.
The AGM was held at Aragon House, one of the company’s West London pubs. The meeting was attended by all the board members and around 20 shareholders.
The meeting started with the chairman presenting encouraging recent trading figures and an update on new openings, before inviting shareholders questions. I asked about recent trends in cask ale sales, and for additional detail on the sites that the company intends to acquire from the Mosaic pub group over the next 12 months.
The Chairman replied that, while there had been some disruption to cask ale supplies during the pandemic, this had been somewhat mitigated by the company’s use of local suppliers. The company’s focus remains on maintaining quality, and this has sometimes meant reducing the range of ales available, while still offering a good variety. The company is planning to acquire 10 sites from Mosaic, all of which stock cask ales. Subsequent to the meeting, the company supplied me with a list of the 10 sites.
Other shareholders asked questions about beer prices, acquisition opportunities, the income split between food, drink, and accommodation, and the potential for a shareholder loyalty card.
After the meeting, there was a good opportunity to speak to members of the board over a light lunch in the beer garden. I queried the fact that the company’s most recent opening does not offer cask ale. I was advised that within 50 yards the company has another pub offering a good range of cask ales, and the company was keen to differentiate the new opening from their existing site in order to attract new customers.
Overall, I felt it was a good meeting and an opportunity to find out more about one of our investments.
Ian Brindley – CMIC Committee Member