Adnams has predicted tough times ahead for the UK beer market after the brewer unveiled a modest dip in sales and profits for 2010.

Turnover fell slightly from £51.3m in 2009 to £50.9m last year. Operating profits came in at £3.19m, against the previous year’s mark of £3.24m.

The company said its performance had picked up in the second half of the year, with profits having lagged 2009 levels by around 10% after six months of 2010.

Chairman Jonathan Adnams (pictured) warned that the company faced a challenging year ahead, pointing to the 20% rate of VAT and cuts in public spending. He said 20% less beer was being drunk in the UK than six years ago, while consumption in pubs had fallen by 30% over the period.

But he added: “Our balance sheet and brand reputation are strong and we have the team in place to grow, develop and innovate.”

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