City Pub Group sees annual profit below market view, shares slip

(Reuters) - City Pub Group Plc CPC.L on Monday forecast full-year adjusted core earnings slightly below market view, as its holiday period sales were hit by political uncertainty in Britain prior to the December elections and a lacklustre Rugby World Cup.

Shares in the company slid 12% to 192.50 pence on the London Stock Exchange within half an hour of market open.

The City Pub Group, the owner and operator of 47 pubs across Southern England and Wales, said it expects 2019 adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, before exceptional items to be between 9.1 million and 9.2 million pounds ($11.83 million-$11.96 million).

Analysts expected EBITDA of 9.6 million pounds, according to Eikon data from Refinitiv.

“Political uncertainty culminating in the December Election held back sales until the result was known and unhelpful weather during November and December dampened trading further,” the company said in a statement.

The pub owner and operator said total turnover for the year was 59.8 million pounds, in line with estimates, according to Eikon data.

City Pub said it revamped two former Jam Tree sites in the final quarter of the year, but their reopening in November was too late to benefit from Christmas booking.

In contrast, pub and restaurant operator Mitchells & Butlers MAB.L saw strong festive season sales as more diners opted for its pricier healthy menu options.

Reporting by Rishika Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Anil D’Silva