A BURTON-BASED pub giant has delivered a strong performance in its first year as an independent business, delighting bosses.
The Spirit Pub Company, based on the Centrum 100 business park, has released its annual results for the 52 weeks to August 18, 2012, which showed strong growth, expansion and market performance following its demerger from Punch Taverns in August 2011.
The firm, which manages more than 800 pubs in Britain, saw sales at managed pubs — those run directly by the company rather than by freelance landlords — rise 4.8 per cent with its leased division posting an expected 4.8 per cent drop.
Chief executive Mike Tye said: “I am delighted with the progress we have made during our first year as an independent business.
“Profit before tax is up 16 per cent, earnings per share are up 21 per cent and we have commenced the payment of dividends.
“We have delivered further strong growth in managed sales through continued investment in our brands, estate, infrastructure and people while cost control has been robust in the face of inflationary pressures, enabling continued expansion of managed margin.
“Our leased pubs have performed in line with our expectations this year and we have now laid the foundations from which to drive performance improvement.
“The consumer environment remains tough but our ongoing focus on delivering retail excellence sees us well placed to make further progress in the year ahead.”
Pre-tax profits increased by 16 per cent to £51 million.
The firm’s strong managed business success comes following investment in brands, buildings, infrastructure and staff while a downturn in the leased business has been attributed to rent re-basing and falling beer volumes.
The pub giant has also revealed that following a review it identified around 100 underperforming pubs that it plans to sell off. Fifty-two have already been disposed of, helping to raise £26 million.
Spirit has also disclosed that the first four weeks of the new financial year showed that its managed estates were still performing well and looking ahead they expected ‘the consumer environment to remain tough but stable’.