The figure represents a 9% fall on the 2011 profit figure, although sales have risen slightly, by £1 million to £189 million.
The board at the Bedford-based company was expecting a dip in profits as the effect of losing income from both the Red Stripe and Corona brands. However the acquisition of the McEwan’s and Younger’s brands by subsidiary the Wells & Young’s Brewing Company helped to offset the decline.
International sales recorded another year of double-digit sales growth and increased margins, up 27.7% on the year. Wine company Cockburn & Campbell, saw overall sales growth of 6%, with wine volume rising 2.8% in an on trade market declining 5%.
The John Bull managed house operations in France saw operating profit rise 38%. An eighth pub – The King Arthur in Lyon – was acquired and the company remains on target to achieve an estate of 16 pubs by 2016.
Charles Wells has also announced two senior appointments. Justin Phillimore has moved from his position as group finance director to become managing director of Charles Wells’ brewing and brands division Wells & Young’s Brewing Co Ltd. He has been with the company for six years.
Andrea Holton has moved from logistics giant DHL, for whom she was vice president HR for UK and Ireland, to become Charles Wells’ HR director.
Charles Wells chairman Paul Wells said: “Our performance this year has been in line with expectations and we have invested for the future through acquisition of beer brands and high-quality pubs in the UK and France.
"Our international sales and pub operations have demonstrated that growth is possible at home and overseas, despite the difficulties of the global economy and our wine company has also delivered excellent growth.
“It’s good to see that so many licensees who run a Charles Wells brewery pub are outperforming the market and within our core estate we have seen some exceptional achievements.”