Laurel Pub Company, the high street group owned Robert Tchenguiz, is to close 22 pubs as part of a move that could see up to 100 sold. Daily Telegraph

Laurel is considering options for up to 100 pubs but has decided to close 22 of the most poorly performing from next week.

The managed pubs operator has seen a marked downturn in some of its wet led pubs since the fourth quarter last year.

Laurel chief executive Paul Symonds is believed to have told managers the smoking ban and supermarket prices have hit trading. Sources said its food-focused pubs, such as Slug and Lettuce, are performing strongly.

Tchenguiz has been in talks with banks about refinancing Laurel’s debt. He is believed to be under pressure to sell off or put into administration the group’s most poorly performing pubs.

Laurel made a loss of £12.6m last year.