Punch Taverns in restructuring talks after fall in pre-tax profits

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Like-for-like net income, Finance

Punch Taverns in restructuring talks after fall in pre-tax profits
Punch Taverns, the tenanted and leased pub company, has reported a fall in EBITDA and pre-tax profits in the 52 weeks to 18 August and says it has begun restructuring talks.

EBITDA was £238m (2011: £258m) and profit-before tax fell from £76m to £64m. Basic earnings per share fell from 8.6p to 7.2p.

Punch said average net income was "broadly flat". Like-for-like net income in its substantive estate - which now accounts for 94% of its sites - fell 1%. Total core estate like-for-like net income declined 3.7%.

Punch disposed of 475 pubs plus other assets for £130m, £1m ahead of book value and a multiple of 18x EBITDA. Punch said it invested £38m across the year in 400 core pubs. Food mix grew three percentage points to 24%.

It had a 25% increase in applicant numbers, plus a growing number of multiple operators. The number of pubs in its Buying Club on-line ordering scheme reached 1,100, a 65% increase; 45% of drinks orders are now online, up from 21% last year.

Punch said its disposals are on-track to deliver a core estate of 3,000 pubs within the next five years.

Punch said the board has completed a detailed review of the Group’s capital structure. "While the group has continued to provide financial support to the securitisation structures, significant changes to the securitisations are necessary to protect the material financial and operational benefits that both enjoy as being part of the wider group," it said.

"Discussions have been initiated with certain major shareholders and other significant stakeholders to seek their input on the range of possible options available to restructure the securitisations. At the appropriate time, we will be seeking to extend these discussions to the bondholders in both securitisations. Following completion of this broad consultation with stakeholders the board will provide a further update."

Roger Whiteside, chief executive, said: "We have delivered profits for the year in line with our expectations and are on track with our disposal programme in extracting maximum value from our non-core assets.

"We are making good progress towards our long term objective to become the UK’s highest quality, most trusted and best value leased pub company, with record levels of investment in our core pubs and an additional 1,100 Partners joining the Punch Buying Club.

"We have completed the review of our capital structure and have initiated discussions with certain major shareholders and certain other stakeholders. We will engage with our remaining stakeholders, including bondholders, at the appropriate time. While the options are complex and will take time to conclude we are confident that a consensual restructuring can be successfully implemented in a manner that delivers value for stakeholders."

Related topics: Punch Pubs & Co

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