Punch Taverns dismissed its warning that profits will be hit by this summer’s weather as ‘just a blip’. The Daily Telegraph. The Independent. The Guardian. Financial Times
Pretax profits are expected to be 2%-3% – £5m to £7m – lower than originally predicted, but the company said that normal trading had resumed.
Britain’s largest pub operator has been busy this year selling smaller pubs it considered least equipped for the smoking ban, and replacing many them with a programme of conversions from managed houses to tenancies: 637 pubs were converted, while 933 were sold. Changes to the estate, which have generated an average 10% rise in pub profitability, were followed by a debt restructuring in July, locking in long-term rates of interest.
Punch now has 7,561 tenanted pubs, which showed like-for-like sales up 2.7% for the year to 18 August. Its 877 managed houses showed comparable sales up 3.5%. The group said had completed its programme of conversions of Spirit managed houses into tenancies.