Punch Taverns warns that it is in talks for debt restructuring

TROUBLED pub chain Punch Taverns yesterday warned that it would have to restructure its massive debt as the company said sales at its 3,000 pubs had declined by six per cent in the last year.

Although Punch Taverns remains profitable, it is saddled with £2.4bn of debt, and has seen pre-tax profit decline to £64m from £76m in the last 12 months.

“We have completed the review of our capital structure and have initiated discussions with certain major shareholders and certain other stakeholders,” chief executive Roger Whiteside said.

The firm, which split from Spirit Pubs last year to protect Spirit from the debt pile, saw shares rise however as results beat forecasts.