Positive start brings optimism to Punch Taverns

BURTON-upon-Trent pubco Punch Taverns said this morning that trading for the 12 week period to November 9 had been “positive”.

In an interim management statement to the London Stock Exchange, the firm said like-for-like net income in the core estate was up 1.4%. 

“Trading in the quarter represented the fourth consecutive quarter of improving like-for-like trends and, assisted by weak weather comparatives, delivered growth in average net income per pub across our entire estate, “ it said.
“Expectations remain unchanged with management expecting the core estate to return to full year like-for-like net income growth of up to 1% for the current financial year.

“The pub investment and non-core pub disposal programmes remain on track with full year capital investment expected to be c.£45m and disposal proceeds anticipated to be of c.£100m, raised largely from the disposal of non-core pubs.”
Punch said it is continuing to work with a number of stakeholders on its restructuring proposals. It said it intends to announce details of the proposal next month with the formal launch of implementation shortly thereafter.
Stephen Billingham, executive chairman of Punch Taverns, said:  “We have made a positive start to the financial year and our results are benefiting from the operational improvements we have made over the last 12 months.”

The news will be welcomed by shareholders after the company saw revenue and profits slide when it announced its annual results in September.

Revenue declined 7% to £458m  while pre-tax profit was down  23% to £49m.