PAUL HICKMAN PEEL HUNT
Results close to our expectation leave the business model continuing in strong growth, beating most of the pub sector. Technical downgrades may create some short-term weakness, and this represents a buying opportunity. Current trading continues strong, although no numbers are given as they would be artificially high, reflecting the Easter holiday.
DOUGLAS JACK NUMIS
Profit-before-tax at £19.5m, is ahead of our £17.5m forecast. This represents a seven per cent increase, however the underlying growth rate was 30 per cent if one backs out the one-off benefits of £1.6m on onerous contracts and £1.7m of rate rebates. In the second half, growth should also benefit from £1.5m lower central costs and less closure downtime.
SIMON FRENCH PANMURE GORDON
Spirit has issued a good set of interim results this morning... In terms of current trading and outlook, the company says that its managed business continues to trade strongly and outperform the market. The company remains on track to deliver full-year expectations and isn't expecting any material change to consensus on the back of this update.