Some cheer for Punch investors after progress on debt reduction

INVESTORS in pub owner Punch Taverns received some long-overdue good news yesterday when the company said it had made progress on restructuring its colossal debt pile.

The company said the new plans will reduce its debt repayments by around £600m over the next five years and would direct extra cash to owners of its more senior debt.

Punch’s complex £2.4bn debts have seen the value of the business plummet over the last few years, and yesterday’s news sent shares in the company up around four per cent.

The firm also revealed that trading declines were tapering off. It said underlying net income had declined 0.7 per cent in the 12 weeks to 25 May, compared to a 3.3 per cent decline in the 40 weeks to the same date.

Debt proposals will be put to bondholders this month.