Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Business good for Tetley (part two)

We’re back in mid-1950’s Leeds looking at Tetley’s annual report.

It looks as if they were making healthy profits and paying a reasonable dividend. Though as we saw last time, a large proportion of the money they earned was paid in beer duty.

Group profit and dividend
Trading results of the group show a net profit before taxation £719,682 but the deduction of taxation at the rate of 11s. 11d. in the pound as against 11s. 8d last year reduces the group net profit to £291,527 as against £259,465 a year ago.

We have recommended the payment of a final dividend of 7% on the increased capital which, with the interim dividend already paid, makes a fractional percentage increase on last year’s dividend on a smaller capital. We also suggest that the sum of £50,000 should be transferred general reserve and £50,000 to property improvements reserve and that £216,771 should be carried forward. As mentioned in the chairman’s statement published with the accounts, our board has been engaged since last March in co-ordinating the working of Duncan Gilmour & Co and its subsidiaries with the activities of the parent company. We have taken over already the production of beer to be sold by certain of Duncan Gilmour’s subsidiaries and over a period of years we hope gradually to supply the demands of the whole Duncan Gilmour group from our Leeds brewery. We are also contemplating the eventual building of new bottling store in the Sheffield area which should greatly increase our capacity for producing bottled beer. Various companies in the group have substantial interests in the wine and spirit trade both in this country and abroad. These interests are also in process of co-ordination so as to obtain the maximum results therefrom. We are also engaged in the survey of the transport and carriage facilities of the group with a view to effecting economies in this most expensive charge our trading.”
Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Monday 03 January 1955, page 3.

Improving their tied estate was a priority for all forward-looking breweries. Better pubs meant more beer was sold. It was an investment in the future growth of the business. In the period 1940 to 1950 restrictions on building work and a shortage of materials meant very little work could be carried. Leaving breweries with a backlog of maintenance on their pubs.

I didn’t know much about Duncan Gilmour, so I looked them up. This is what I found.

Duncan Gilmour and Co. started as a wine merchant in Sheffield in 1831. In 1892 the company diversified into brewing when it bought two breweries on Merseyside: United Breweries (Liverpool) and the Windsor Brewery. In the early 20th century it purchased several breweries in and around Sheffield: W.H. Birks & Co. (1900), H.W. Dearden (1901), Whitmarsh, Watson & Co. Ltd. (1906) and Wm. Greaves & Co. Ltd. (1920). In the process the company built up a considerable tied estate. When it was taken over by Tetley in 1954 Duncan Gilmour had 148 pubs in Sheffield and a further 350 pubs in Merseyside supplied by the Windsor Brewery. It stopped brewing sometime in the early 1960's.*

With 500 pubs it was a considerable addition to Tetley’s estate, especially west of the Pennines. Naturally Tetley would seek to serve them from the brewery in Leeds. Presumably the bottling store in Sheffield was built on land owned by Duncan Gilmour.

I leave you with the only Duncan Gilmour analyses I have:

Duncan Gilmour beers 1948 - 1952
Year Beer Style Price per pint d package OG FG colour ABV App. Atten-uation
1952 Milk Round Stout Stout 22 bottled 1038.1 1012.4 11B + 1R 3.32 67.45%
1948 Export Quality Golden PA Pale Ale bottled 1053.1 1011.8 21 5.38 77.78%
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002

* A synopsis of information in "The Brewing Industry: a Guide to Historical Records" edited by Leslie Richmond and Alison Turton, 1990, page 154.

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