By James Atkinson

Metcash has confirmed the acquisition of a Queensland hotel by its Australian Liquor Marketers (ALM) business, adding that ALM was the company's standout performer in the half year ended October 31.

Metcash today said its strategy of joint venture investments in the pub sector had seen one hotel acquired with several more acquisitions expected in coming months.

Spokesman Tim Allerton told TheShout the pub deal in question was ALM's 50 per cent acquisition of the Queen's Arms in Brisbane, as flagged by TheShout in July.

Metcash said ALM continued to perform strongly in the half with sales up 14.9 per cent and EBITA growing 26.7 per cent to $16.6 million. The new Liquor Marketing Group sales volumes began in October.

Sales through Independent Brands Australia grew by 16 per cent and volume by 13 per cent. 

"The strong performance of ALM is a real highlight for the half and we are looking forward to their result being stronger in the second half as the LMG contract is bedded down," said Metcash CEO Andrew Reitzer.

Metcash announced it had lifted earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) by 1.2 per cent on the previous corresponding period to $206.2 million.

The result was achieved on a 3.5 per cent rise in wholesale sales to $6.28 billion.

"Revenue, underlying earnings and cash flows are all strong. Our net working capital position has improved and our strategy of diversifying the business is beginning to show results," Reitzer said.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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