Hawthorn has announced a rebrand, with a new name and platform putting its purpose right at the heart of its business. Now to be known as Hawthorn: The Community Pub Company, the move reflects Hawthorn’s business strategy, and its ambition to become the number one community pub company. News of the rebrand was announced on the day that Hawthorn CEO Mark Davies announced the company’s results for the six months to the end of September, with the business outperforming the sector as the nation emerged from the first lockdown.

The company proved itself to be a strong and stable business, making a profit in the first half of its financial year, despite the significant disruption of COVID-19. Wet-led community pubs have proven to be resilient and sustainable, bouncing back quickly from the first national lockdown as consumers look to stay local, shop local, and socialise local. Like-for-like volumes in both the Leased & Tenanted and Operator Managed divisions of the business compare favourably to the wider market over the same period, according to data from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

Throughout the first national lockdown, Hawthorn provided £3.8m in rent support, and this backing has forged stronger relationships and trust with Pub Partners and Operators, 97% of whom said that Hawthorn has met or exceeded expectations.

86% of Hawthorn’s Partners and Operators invested in their pub during the first lockdown, and Hawthorn has committed to continue to invest and support partners, today announcing a £7.5m Capex programme. Where possible, 2021 projects will be brought forward, to ensure that the business is in the best possible shape by spring when restrictions begin to lift.

Hawthorn credits the swift return to profitability in the summer in part to its best-in-class team of people, who ensured the pubs were ready to reopen safely and welcome back their local communities. With the experience gained, the company believes it will be well-placed to return to profitability and normalised levels of trading when restrictions eventually end.

Mark Davies, CEO, Hawthorn, said:

“Despite the obstacles facing the hospitality sector, Hawthorn remains a strong and stable business: occupancy is high, our community and suburban pubs were well-placed to bounce back after reopening in July, and we remained profitable in the first half of our financial year.

“With further challenges imminent and in the shape of local lockdowns, our priority is to support and protect all of our people, protect the business and plan for the future. We will continue to support our Pub Partners and Operators, and we will use the next three months to invest in the business so it’s stronger than ever when restrictions begin to lift in spring next year.

“Throughout the pandemic, our teams have been incredible, providing our Pub Partners and Operators with support, reassurance and somebody to talk to. We’re enormously proud of our company culture, the community of people we work with and the pubs we operate. Our ambition is to be the number one community pub company, and next month we will rebrand to Hawthorn: The Community Pub Company, putting our purpose right at the heart of our business for everybody to see.”

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