Punch reports loss amid enforced pandemic closures

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Covid symptoms: Punch is the latest in a series of pub companies to record losses during their most recent financial year off the back of coronavirus enforced closures
Covid symptoms: Punch is the latest in a series of pub companies to record losses during their most recent financial year off the back of coronavirus enforced closures

Related tags: Punch, Public house, Finance, Pubco + head office

Punch, which operates more than 1,200 pubs, has reported a loss for the year ending 16 August.

Following the onset of the first three-month national lockdown from March to July 2020, Vine Acquisitions, the operating company of Punch, saw an underlying loss after tax of £6.3m compared to an underlying profit of £19.1m the previous year.

At the date of signing (17 December), the company said the coronavirus pandemic will not affect its ability to trade for the “foreseeable future”, however.

Assessing the group as a going concern, it has concluded there are sufficient resources for it to continue operating for the next 12 months. 

What’s more, Punch’s directors have not recommended payment of a final dividend. 

Reports of a loss come during a financial year in which Punch purchased a seven-pub package from Heartstone Inns​. 

The January 2020 deal left Heartstone Inns with an estate of eight pubs following the disposal of a group of sites in the south-west.

Pub company losses 

Punch becomes the latest in a series of pub companies to record losses during their most recent financial year off the back of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

The reveal of the pubco’s latest figures follows news reported by The Morning Advertiser (MA)​ in December that Marston’s made a total loss of £397.1m​ during the year to 3 October 2020 following the closure of its near 1,400 strong pub estate for 15 weeks.

Additionally, Fuller, Smith & Turner​ has revealed a swing of around £40m from profit to loss in its financial results for the 26 weeks to 26 September after its pubs spent more than half of the period in lockdown.

What’s more, Birmingham-based pub group Mitchells & Butlers revealed a £300m swing from pre-tax profit to loss in the 52 weeks ended 26 September 2020 in November – a period in which it was forced to axe 1,300 staff members​. 

Related topics: Punch Pubs & Co

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