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Beer volumes at traditional English brewer Adnams have suffered in a volatile market which is seeing rapid evolution with a high number of new craft products being launched by smaller producers.

Sales at the listed group also fell back 3% to £29.1m in the six months to 30 June as a result, with some of the decline also coming because of two of its large managed properties being closed for refurbishment.

Despite a 5% drop in volumes, down from a 18% increase a year ago, and the dip in turnover, Adnams managed to increase operating profits 12% to £962k as it kept tight control over its costs. Adnams said it was a ”strong result after a long cold spring”.

“The current year dip in beer volumes was notably in the volatile area of sales to the large managed pub companies,” the brewer added.

“The beer market continues to evolve very rapidly as new products are launched, numbers of small producers continue to increase and consumer tastes change, inspired by the range of beers now available. This has created more challenging times for classic English beers like Adnams Bitter; however, it has also created opportunities for our own new products.”

Sales to supermarkets and other take-home outlets were in line with the first half of 2014, Adnams said.

Looking ahead the brewer said the retail business had plans for further expansion, with further investment in its online presence, after a “strong” six months.

Morning update

Online takeaway group Just Eat has reported “another period of excellent growth”, with revenues soaring 54% to £107.8m and underlying EBITDA up 62% to £25.8m. Orders in the six months to 30 June jumped 52% to 41.9 million – up 47% on a like-for-like basis – as the number of active users increased 59% from 6.9 million a year ago to 11 million.

CEO David Buttress said: “Just Eat has made a very strong start to 2015, increasing the numbers of active users, takeaway restaurants and orders. We have seen the success of our ongoing strategy to reinvest profits above target to drive additional growth. I am particularly pleased to see the results of our mobile strategy which has already created a much improved experience for our app and mobile users.”

Yesterday in the City

With the little news flow to react to, the biggest movers yesterday included Tesco meat supplier Hilton Food Group (HFG), which was up 5.7% to 464p, Poundland (PLND), which rose 2.8% to 347p, and brewer SABMiller (SAB), up 2.4% to 3,454p.

Fallers included Greggs (GRG), which lost some of its recent momentum, falling 2.4% to 1,320p, Tesco (TSCO), down 1.7% to 211.6p, and Real Good Food (RGD), down 3.6% to 51.1p ahead of its annual results due to be posted on Friday.

The blue-chip index in London underperformed its European counterparts, as mining stocks dragged the index down thanks to weaker-than-expected manufacturing figures from China. The FTSE slipped a few points to finish the day at 6,688.6 points.