Statutory code: Property agent claims pub code will not have big impact on trade

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

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Neil Morgan: he does not think the statutory code is going to have a big impact on the pub trade
Neil Morgan: he does not think the statutory code is going to have a big impact on the pub trade
The Government’s introduction of a statutory code will not have a big impact on the industry — that’s the view of property agent Neil Morgan, director and head of pubs at Christie+Co.

The Publican’s Morning Advertiser revealed that the Government will be consulting on a statutory code and adjudicator for pub companies and tenants. It is set to impact all pubcos with more than 500 tied pubs.

Speaking at the Christie+Co Business Outlook 2013 report launch in London last week, Morgan said that he did not believe the announcement that the Government wants to put the pubco/tenant code on a statutory footing for operators of more than 500 tied sites would have a big impact.

“You’ve just got to look at how long that’s going to take to get through the statutory route,” he said. “It’s going to take at least three years. By that time we would have had another election and it’s not high up on anybody’s agenda. So long term I don’t think it’s going to have a massive impact.”

Morgan added that tenanted pub companies are taking the issues “very seriously” and he expects the tied model to continue to “evolve”. “The question is whether the pub companies will look to the franchise model to a larger extent to offset the limit on the tied model,” he said.

Morgan said he believed there are still 3,000 pubs too many for the market; in 1999 Christie+Co said there were 10,000 too many, and between 6,000 and 7,000 have shut since then. “I think for a healthy pub market there should be below 50,000,” Morgan said.

Business Outlook 2013 found that pub prices are stabilising, with many sites being sold to experienced operators. The annual report calculates statistical changes derived from pub transactions brokered by the company.

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