Punch Taverns on track to meet annual profit expectations

Pub operator Punch Taverns has said it is on track to meet full-year profit expectations following an improvement in core estate net income.

Pub operator Punch Taverns has said it is on track to meet full-year profit expectations following an improvement in core estate net income.

The company, which operates and leases pubs in the UK, said pre-tax profit in the 28 weeks to March 2nd 2013 met targets at £26m as core estate like-for-like net income was down to 2.5% in the second quarter compared to 5.2% in the first.

Earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBTIDA) came to £117m and earnings per share was 3.0p.

During the period, the group completed investments in 270 core pubs at an average of £0.1m per pub while it sold 164 pubs together with other assets for £55m.

Punch expects to record an annual underlying EBITDA of between £210 and £220m in 2013.

"Our profit performance for the first half of the year has been in line with management expectations, with improving trends in the underlying business," Executive Chairman Stephen Billingham said.

"We expect to make further progress in the second half of the financial year and are on track to meet our full year profit expectations."

He added the firm was progressing on talks with shareholders about a proposed restructuring and believes a "consensual restructuring can be launched in the first half of 2013".

RD

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