Pubs group Punch Taverns said its interim results were in line with expectations, leaving it on course to meet full year targets.
Underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell to £128m in the 28 weeks to March 3rd from £139m in the corresponding period of the year before, while profit before tax retreated to £33m from £41m.
In its core estate - the pubs it intends to hang on to - like-for-like income was down 2.1% on the corresponding period of 2.1%. Average net income (revenue minus cost of drink sales) per pub was up 0.8% year-on-year over the period.
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"Notwithstanding the continuing challenging climate we have a clear operational plan to return the core estate to growth in the medium-term and extract maximum value from our non-core assets," said Roger Whiteside, Chief Executive Officer of Punch Taverns.
Third quarter trading in 2011 was boosted by exceptional weather and the additional Royal wedding bank holiday, the company noted. Consequently the third quarter of 2012 is up against strong comparative numbers making trends difficult to interpret. "Nevertheless, we have strong plans in place and expect to benefit from the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the UEFA European football championship and the Olympic Games in the latter half of the year," the company said.
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