LONDON May 13 British pub group Enterprise Inns
said improving trade boosted by strong demand in the
south of England and a support programme for its publicans left
it confident of achieving full-year underlying net income
The group, landlord to some 5,500 pubs, has been investing
in revamps to its estate, as well as better training for
publicans, discounted TV packages and improved food ranges to
help boost sales after years spent focused on selling off pubs
to help lower huge debts.
The firm on Tuesday reported like-for-like net income growth
of 1.1 percent for the six months to March 31, making it three
straight quarters of growth for the first time since 2008.
Adjusted pretax profit was flat at 55 million pounds ($93
million), in line with expectations.
Shares in Enterprise Inns rose 3.4 percent to 149.9 pence in
Since the credit crisis, the group has been forced to sell
off a raft of pubs to help reduce net debt of 3.8 billion
pounds. It said on Tuesday this now stood at 2.5 billion pounds,
having sold off 129 pubs in the half, raising 42 million pounds.
The group expects total disposal proceeds of 70 million
pounds for the full-year.
"I am confident that through our activities to support
publicans to grow their businesses we will achieve our target of
like-for-like net income growth for the full financial year,"
said Simon Townsend, who replaced the firm's founder and CEO Ted
Tuppen in February after 23 years in the role.
($1 = 0.5927 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Neil Maidment; Editing by Mark Potter)