Our strategy is to exploit and develop further competitive advantage in the pub and brewing sectors based upon our existing market positions, the knowledge and operational capabilities of our employees, and the traditional vertically integrated business model of the Group. In each of our trading divisions our target is to continue to outperform the market.
Managed Pub Development
We derive a source of competitive advantage in site selection and new pub-restaurant development through our industry-leading investment programme. We develop hand-picked sites in excellent trading locations, building pubs which reflect the expectations of today's consumer.
Tenanted and Leased Pub Development
Sustainability, transparency, fair rents and a fair share of risks and rewards are the bases of our relationships with our licensees. Our expertise in operating managed pubs supports our introduction of innovative Retail Agreements. We provide choice in our longer-term lease agreements by offering free trade pricing and free-of-tie options.
The ‘F' Plan
Designed in 2006 to recognise longer-term market trends including growth in the eating-out market, the consequences of the smoking ban on pubs, and longer-term demographic trends, our ‘F-Plan' — food, families, females and forty/fifty somethings — underpins operational development in our managed pubs.
‘Localness' & Premium Brands in Brewing
Our brewing strategy is differentiated and based upon two key principles: increasing consumer demand for premium cask and bottled ales; and providing choice in beers with provenance, taste, and quality. We are able to exploit this through national distribution of local beers from our five breweries.
Over 90% of our debt is long term, low interest and secured on freehold pub assets. We will continue to target a reduction in the net debt to EBITDA ratio to around five times over the next three years through increasing return on capital across the Group.