Wednesday 31 August 2016 8:51 am

Punch Taverns reports profits up as Pubs Code comes into force

Punch Taverns' share price moved marginally higher this morning as it reported that profits were up across its pubs

The figures

Punch Taverns reported that it has managed to pressure profits up by four per cent across its pubs in its year end trading statement.

The company also said it had completed its pub sales, earning £83m from land sales.

Nominal net debt reduced by approximately by £225m, down 16 per cent on last year.

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Why it's interesting

The good news is that profits have been pushed up by an average of four per cent from pubs in the year to August. 

Chief exec Duncan Garrood described the performance as "solid", before the final results come out in November.

The company also stated that its retail division was operating ahead of expectations, with 177 pubs identified to operate under the retail contract and 97 pubs trading or in progress of conversion.

Read more: Pub company Punch shrinks losses

Punch Taverns plans to roll out around 150 pubs per year, up from previous guidance of 100-120 pubs per year.

It has also completed its "strategic disposal programme", with £83m from individual property and land sales, £53m from non-core pubs and £99m from a 50 per cent offloading of its holding in Matthew Clark.

This helped get net debt down, reflecting the company's strategic goal.

Read more: Punch Taverns punches above its weight

But Punch Taverns has had to try and minimise the impact of long-awaited Pubs Code.

The code means tied pub tenants of the six largest pub-owning companies, including Punch Taverns, will now have less power over their tenants.

Tied tenants can now opt out of the beer tie, in which Punch – and other big names – can set beer prices, meaning less power 

What Punch Taverns said

Duncan Garrood, chief executive:

The business has ended the year with a solid set of results, in line with our expectations, and which reflects the completion of our strategic disposal programme.

The roll-out of our Retail division is progressing well and we now plan to accelerate the roll-out to 150 pubs per year. I look forward to updating the market fully when we present our full set of results on 8 November.