Anthony Woodhouse, Chairman of Hall & Woodhouse (H&W), comments on the business’ 2021/22 results:
“The last financial year was again a challenging one, but it has been reassuring that Hall & Woodhouse (H&W) has been able to return to profitability with an underlying profit before tax of £1.6 million (2021: loss of £10.5 million) despite the ongoing disruption. The Team led by Matt Kearsey (Managing Director) are to be congratulated on for what has been achieved – such a demonstration of resilience does not happen by accident. Through the pandemic, we are justly proud of how H&W has resolutely stuck to its purpose and lived by its values despite the extreme pressure.
“In the short term, the cost to the company has been great. However, as has happened many times in H&W’s history, the crisis has given rise to significant opportunities to acquire both Managed Houses and Business Partnerships at very attractive prices. H&W has been able to grasp these opportunities due to its strong balance sheet, tight management of cashflow and the limited borrowings that were in place at the start of the pandemic. We also bolstered our resources by disposing of a number of smaller predominantly wet-led pubs that did not fit with our long-term strategy.
“The disposals generated substantial property profits which resulted in a total profit before tax of £11.1 million (2021 – loss of £15.1 million). Despite the acquisitions and high level of investment in our Team and in our Houses, net debt ended the year significantly down on the prior year at £45.3 million (2021 – £60.9 million).
“As I write this, the human tragedy continues in the Ukraine and our thoughts are with everyone directly and indirectly affected. I am afraid we will not be immune to the impact on the economy, but notwithstanding this, I am optimistic about H&W’s continued recovery in the year ahead.”