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Pub giant toasts financial success

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 15, 2014

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A BURTON-based pub giant has toasted an improving set of financial results.

Punch Taverns, based in Centrum 100, announced that it was set to meet full year expectations after seeing profits rise to £50 million for the 28 weeks to March 1.

The firm has seen like-for-like income up by 1.4 per cent, with major inroads made into a substantive investment programme in its pubs up and down the country.

Bosses also revealed that they were ‘hopeful’ that an agreement could be reached with investors over restructuring its £2 billion debt pile and securing the firm’s future.

Stephen Billingham, executive chairman of Punch Taverns, said: “We have delivered profits for the half year in line with our expectations.

“Our results reflect the significant operational changes we have made over the last 15 months which are now embedded in the business.

“We have returned the core estate to growth and delivered a four per cent improvement in average profit per pub across our 4,000 pub estate.

“We are on track to deliver our full year profit expectations and start the second half of the year backed by the increased level of partner operational support that will further strengthen the performance of our pubs.

“Proactive engagement on the restructuring discussions is continuing and we urge all stakeholders to support the covenant waiver requests to provide the business with stability and time to effect a consensual restructuring of the group’s financing arrangements.”

The company revealed that its disposal programme was ‘on track’ with 140 pubs and other assets disposed for £51 million, £6 million ahead of value.

The financial figures showed that its investment programme was continuing, with 170 core pub investments completed at an average spend of £90,000 per site.

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