Punch Taverns raise a glass to profits jump

Burton-upon-Trent-based Punch Taverns is expected to see its pre-tax profit lift by 46 per cent to �56.6 million. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Burton-upon-Trent-based Punch Taverns is expected to see its pre-tax profit lift by 46 per cent to �56.6 million. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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PUBS group Punch Taverns, which owns outlets including the Ensign Ewart in Edinburgh, is expected to report a profits jump when it posts its full-year results on Tuesday as the group continues to cut its portfolio of outlets.

Brokers at Numis expect the Burton-upon-Trent-based group to see its pre-tax profit lift by 46 per cent to £56.6 million, just after an agreed sale of 158 pubs to property firm NewRiver Retail for £53.5m last week.

The analysts forecast annual like-for-like sales will be slightly positive, up from 0.5 per cent in the first half, aided by improved trading from pub investment and staff training. Last year annual like-for-like sales rose 1.3 per cent.

Punch, the UK’s second biggest landlord, said that after the sale the group will be left with around 2,900 pubs in its core estate, and about 550 pubs in its non-core estate.

Numis said Punch will have sold about 210 pubs this year, and it expects the firm to sell a further 300 outlets in the new financial year, which includes the 158 being sold to NewRiver.

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