Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

East Anglia: First half profits at Punch Taverns ‘in line with expectations’ as debt talks continue

12:49 15 April 2014

Punch Taverns of its executive chairman Stephen Billingham.

Punch Taverns of its executive chairman Stephen Billingham.

Pubs group Punch Taverns, which is battling to agree a restructuring of its debts, today reported first half profits “in line with management expectations”.

shares

Revenues for the 28 weeks to March 1 fell to £233.5m, from £243.3m in the corresponding period a year ago, and operating profit declined to £85.6m from £104.3m, largely reflecting restructuring and other one-off costs and impairment losses on the value on its property estate.

Before what Punch classed as “non-underlying items”, there was a pre-tax profit of £49.7m, compared with £26.2m at last year’s half-way stage. However, this year’s figure included a £29.9m contribution from the redemption of loan notes.

And after non-underlying items, including finance costs of £214.7m, Punch was left with a bottom line pre-tax loss of £174.9m, against a loss of £16.7m for last year’s first half.

However, the company insisted that it remained on course to deliver on its business plan and to meet its expectations for full-year profits, with average profit per pub up 4% across its entire estate of 3,956 sites during the first half.

Investment and disposal plans were also on track, it added, with investments completed at 170 of its core pubs, at an average spend of around £90,000, and 140 pubs and other assets having been sold for £51m, £6m ahead of book value.

Punch is Britain’s second biggest pub owner and has a strong presence in East Anglia where, as a result of past mergers and acquistions, it includes a number of former Tolly Cobbold pubs.

The company also said today that “extensive engagement” was continuing in relation to its debt pile and that the board “remains of the view that a consensual restructuring is in the best interests of all stakeholders”.

Separate meetings of Punch A and Punch B noteholders have been convened for April 29 to seek waivers on some covenant terms in order to avoid the risk of a near-term default, which in the case of the Punch A securitisation could occcur as early as May 15.

Punch’s executive chairman, Stephen Billingham, said today: “We have delivered profits for the half year in line with our expectations.

“Our results reflect the significant operational changes we have made over the last 15 months which are now embedded in the business. We have returned the core estate to growth and delivered a 4% improvement in average profit per pub across our 4,000 pub estate.

“We are on track to deliver our full year profit expectations and start the second half of the year backed by the increased level of partner operational support that will further strengthen the performance of our pubs.”

He added: “Proactive engagement on the restructuring discussions is continuing and we urge all stakeholders to support the covenant waiver requests to provide the business with stability and time to effect a consensual restructuring of the group’s financing arrangements.”

Related articles

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Shirley Ison may have made a fatal error which caused her car to collide with a tree

Driver error is believed to be the cause of a road accident in which a woman was killed, it was ruled this week.

Chelmsford Crown Court

A woman has been left permanently disabled after a driver who had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs smashed into her car.

Clacton’s Memorial Gardens on the town’s seafront in full bloom. Pic: Tendring District Concil.

Led by Labour there have been calls for a stronger campaign against Essex County Council’s part-night lighting policy, where street lights except those in town centres or at dangerous road junctions are turned off now between 1am and 5am.

April Fool

It is hard to trust anything you are told today - because it seems everyone is trying to catch you out with an April Fool.

Campaigners say it is promising that schools are reporting racist incidents

Almost three incidents of racism were reported in Suffolk schools every day during the last academic year, shock new figures have revealed.

Mark Bee has pushed to ensure better broadband is brought to Suffolk.

Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee last night insisted he wants to continue playing “an active role” in politics in Suffolk, as he announced he would quit his role next month.

Hunting for eggs

Will you be feeding the newborn lambs at The Museum of East Anglian Life, trying your hand at archery at Ickworth House or hunting eggs at The Middy’s Steam up this weekend?

Abbey Gardens - are you proud of Suffolk's green spaces?

Welcome to Suffolk Says – your opportunity to give your views on a range of important issues in our county.

Abellio Greater Anglia said train services between London Liverpool Street and Norwich are returning to normal but some services may still be cancelled.

Train services in Suffolk are returning to normal this morning after high winds caused widespread disruption yesterday.

A large tree has smashed into electricity cables after heavy winds in Great Barton.

Strong winds early today have brought down trees and power lines around the county, causing disruption for morning travellers.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages