Enterprise Inns half year profit slides

Leased and tenanted pubs operator Enterprise Inns said unusually cold weather put off potential customers in the first half of the year as it reported a sharp drop in profit.

Leased and tenanted pubs operator Enterprise Inns said unusually cold weather put off potential customers in the first half of the year as it reported a sharp drop in profit.

EBITDA before exceptional items fell to £153m on the six months ended March 31st 2013 from £168m the same period a year earlier. Like-for-like (LFL) net income in the total estate fell 4.2% compared to a 1.6% decline a year before.

Profit before tax and exceptional items reduced to £55m from £64m before.

Chief Executive Ted Tuppen commented: "Trading in the first half of the year has been particularly challenging. The heavy snowfalls in January and the coldest spring for many years have not encouraged customers to venture out to their local pub."

"Against this backdrop we are satisfied with the results for the first half of the financial year and are encouraged that in recent weeks we have seen a recovery in trade."

It added that the second half of the year has started with improved trends in trading.

"We estimate that, after adjusting for the timing of Easter, like-for-like net income for the total estate for the second half to date is down by around 1%.

While trading conditions are expected to remain volatile, its target remains the delivery of like-for-like net income growth across the entire estate during the second half of this year.

"Our strong cash generation from operations combined with the successful disposal programme enables us to maintain our strategy of debt reduction which will see total net debt reduced to £2.5bn by the year end, a reduction of £0.8bn over the last three years."

CJ

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