December 13 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Pubs group Punch Taverns today reported a strong finish to its financial year, boosted by the warm summer.
Average net income returned to growth over the year across its entire 4,000-strong estate and there was a 0.4% rise among core pubs in the final quarter to August 17.
Punch said “clearly the weather has helped”, although it also attributed its trading turnaround to self-help measures, such as investment in its pubs, an overhaul of support offered to leasehold partners and new franchise agreements.
It is expecting annual earnings of between £210million and £220m, down from £238m in the previous year, after suffering from tough weather conditions earlier in the year.
The group recently slumped into the red with losses of £16.7m in the first half as it also counted the cost of servicing its £2.4billion debt mountain.
Punch, which demerged its Spirit managed pubs business in 2011, said it was hopeful of agreeing a “consensual restructuring” after attempts to overhaul and shrink its debt were rejected twice by lenders.
The group, which has a strong presence in East Anglia, is pencilling in a return to like-for-like net income growth in the core estate of 2,990 pubs in the new financial year, rising to 2% in 2015.
Douglas Jack, analyst at Numis Securities, riased his full-year pre-tax profit forecast for Punch by 3% to £50m after the fourth quarter revival