Punch Taverns moves towards restructuring after profit drops

 
City A.M. Reporter
PUB company Punch Taverns said yesterday full-year profit fell by almost a quarter, and that the firm could kick off a restructuring plan later this year.

Pre-tax profit for the year to 17 August fell 23 per cent to £49m after it reduced the size of its estate. Revenues fell seven per cent to £458m.

Punch is trying to reduce over £2bn of debt built up before the downturn. The firm cut its debt by six per cent or £122m during the year.

The harsh trading environment has forced many of Britain’s pubs to close and Punch, which has sold around 1,100 pubs since 2011, now has around 4,000.

Punch did not recommend a final dividend for the year and said it would be unable to recommend a payout to shareholders until its restructuring plans were clearer. It hopes a restructuring plan can be launched in the fourth quarter of the 2013 calendar year.