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Punch reaps rewards of expansion

From The Publican


Punch Taverns has reported a big leap in turnover following its expansion drive last year.

The company, which operates 7,800 leased and tenanted pubs, has reported a 33 per cent increase in turnover to £404m for the six months to March 5.

As well as the earnings boost from the acquisitions of Pubmaster and InnSpired, Punch said organic business growth has contributed to a 37 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to £99m. The interim dividend increased by 28 per cent to 3.7p.

Continued organic growth in sales and profit saw an increase in like-for-like turnover of 3.4 per cent, while £26m was invested in almost 400 pub development projects across the estate.

With many operators reporting tough current market conditions, Punch said it has seen a "satisfactory" start to trading in the initial weeks of the second half.

Chief executive Giles Thorley (pictured) said: "The group has had an excellent first half and these results are testament to continued underlying organic growth in sales and profit across the estate, together with a strong performance from both the Pubmaster and InnSpired acquisitions.

"We continue to see good potential for further sector consolidation and remain well placed to take advantage of future acquisition opportunities.

"Punch has proven the resilience of its business model and whilst there are some suggestions of a more challenging consumer market the Directors remain confident of a satisfactory outcome for the year."

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