On Thursday 6 July, John Westlake and Ian Brindley attended the Young’s AGM on behalf of the club. The event was held at Wandsworth Town Hall, and the brewery dray horses were brought out for the occasion, promoting the company and grabbing the attention of passers-by. We were joined at the meeting by several other club members, and around 50 shareholders in total.
The meeting started with updates from the chairman and chief executive, detailing the company’s continuing recovery following the pandemic, and giving information on recent acquisitions and refurbishments. The company’s turnover and profits both now exceed pre-covid levels, and the dividend is almost fully restored.
Ian asked about cask ale sales through the company’s pubs, and the chief exec. replied that, whereas the market has seen a decline of around 10% in cask sales, it is only 4% in Young’s pubs. The range of ales offered is pretty much back to pre-covid levels, although the range offered at a particular establishment will always be related to throughput, in order to ensure quality is maintained. In addition to the core Young’s range, ales from St Austell and Harvey’s are also offered, together with guests from a range of around 30 ‘local heroes’.
The company said that they are pleased to see that the decline in cask sales has steadied, and they hope to see it lift off soon, as cask is a great product. In response to a further question, the company said that ales are currently being brewed at Wychwood, although club members expressed some scepticism that this brewery could supply the required throughput.
The brewery dray horses on display outside the AGM.
After the meeting, shareholders were invited to sample the company’s products, and offered vouchers which could be exchanged for a beer and a sandwich at local venues.
Overall, a good performance that justifies the company’s position as the club’s largest single investment.
John Westlake & Ian Brindley – CMIC Committee Members