Regional brewer Shepherd Neame posted a 10.5% jump in annual turnover boosted by strong sales of Spitfire ale to the multiples.

The Kent-based brewer and pub operator said for the year to June 29 turnover rose to £78.8m from £71.3m last year while the affect of a smaller gain from property deals meant pre-tax-profit grew by a more modest 2.1% to £8.4m.

Increased sales of bottled Spitfire have helped lift the company’s volumes in the off-trade, including supermarkets, by 26%.

Total sales of Spitfire were 29% ahead by volume with draught ale up 19% and bottled ale up 68%.

To develop the Spitfire brand further the company begins its first-ever television advertising campaign next month.

Turnover in its wine division, Todd’s the Wine Company, grew 9.4%.