Punch Taverns slashes more than £500m off its debts in a year

BURTON-upon-Trent based pubco Punch Taverns has revealed that it has cut its net debt by £513m in a year.

The total is down by £102m since the company’s October 2014 refinancing to £1,406m.

In a year end trading statement for the 52 weeks to 22 August 2015, Punch also revealed that its disposal proceeds are ahead of guidance at £89m.

The pubco, which last week announced it is to sell 158 of its non-core estate pubs to retail REIT NewRiver in a deal worth £53.5m, said full year profit is in line with management expectations.

It expects to report underlying EBITDA of between £193m and £200m.

It said core estate net income is up 0.3% and the average profit per pub is up c.4%, benefiting from the disposal of non-core pubs.

Its property estate has been externally valued at £2,097m.
CEO Duncan Garrood said: “The business has ended the year with a solid set of results, in line with our expectations. The business has clear plans for further debt reduction and will benefit from being able to focus more resources on the higher quality core pub estate.
“Since joining Punch on 15 June I am excited by the opportunities I see in the business. I look forward to updating the market on our plans when we present our full set of results on 12 November.”

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