Hawthorn, the Community Pub Company, has provided an update on its performance over the last financial year, as part of parent company NewRiver’s full year results, for the year ending 31 March 2021. The results paint a picture of a strong and stable community pub business, which has been able to provide industry-leading support for its Pub Partners and return to a strong trading performance after reopening.
Hawthorn owns circa 700 community pubs across England, Scotland and Wales. In addition to its tenanted and leased pubs, which account for 80% of the Hawthorn business, the group also has a well-established, successful and scalable Operator-Managed division, which accounts for 20% of the estate.
Mark Davies, CEO of Hawthorn, the Community Pub Company, said:
“COVID-19 represented the single greatest challenge that our sector has faced in generations. I’m immensely proud of the tireless work that our team have put in to ensure that our Pub Partners and Operators have been able to navigate this difficult year and reopen safely and successfully.
“Our people are our most important asset, and relationships with our Partners are stronger than ever thanks to the unprecedented levels of support – both financial and personal – that we have provided, which will benefit the business for years to come, and help us achieve our objective of being the leading national community pub operator.
“This is a very exciting and important time for Hawthorn. We were delighted with the recent acquisition of fourteen community pubs from Everards and the appointment of Colin Rutherford as our new Chairman last week. We look forward to continuing to grow Hawthorn, and with our commitment to building the very best community pub company, with industry-leading support and a people-first approach, we are confident that there is a great future ahead for Hawthorn.
“And finally, at an industry level, Step 4 in the Government Roadmap is really important to our sector so that our community pubs can operate at normal capacity and return to pre-Covid profitability. It is crucial therefore that the Government continues with an evidence-based approach, and bases its decision-making in science, not on media speculation, to facilitate 21 June becoming “Freedom Day” for community pubs across the UK.”
Highlights over the past twelve months include:
  • An investment of £7 million in over 200 CAPEX projects in FY21, many of which enhanced the outside space of our pubs to ensure that they were ready to welcome as many customers as possible on reopening.
  • More than £8 million of support for Partners and Operators since March 2020, ongoing until August 2021.
  • Establishment of the innovative ‘Pub Partner Investment Fund’, where Hawthorn matched Partner spend up to £10,000 to add lighting, heating and covers and support COVID compliance in pubs. To date, more than £500,000 has been invested in over 110 schemes.
FY21 Performance
  • 96.7% occupancy as of May 2021
  • 91% of pubs reopened by 17 May
  • Since 12 April 2021, like-for-like volumes in Hawthorn’s Leased and Tenanted estate are at 98% compared to the same period in 2019, and sales at 83% in the Operator Managed estate.


  • The acquisition of 14 high quality community pubs from Everards. 
  •  The appointment last week of experienced industry figure, Colin Rutherford, as Chairman.
  • Positive feedback from Pub Partners. KAM Media’s Licensee Index saw Hawthorn improve in 49 of 51 measures and outperform its peers across a wide range of categories including COVID-19 support (9.2/10), quality of BDM (8.8), and likelihood to recommend the company to other publicans (8.3). Overall ranking of No 1 amongst the national pub companies
  • In June 2020, the appointment of Ken Buckley as Non-Executive Director, and the internal promotion of three key figures to the Hawthorn ExCo - Andy Parker (Director of Leased and Tenanted Operations), Mark Brooke (Director of Managed Operations), and Ed Little (Property Director).
  • The appointment of Hawthorn CEO Mark Davies as Chairman of the Welsh Beer and Pub Association, and of Edith Monfries, Hawthorn COO, as President of the Scottish Beer and Pub Association.

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