24 October 2012 10:54
Pub group Punch Taverns has said that more pub sales are on the cards, as it moved closer to defaulting on its debt today.
In the group's results for the year to August 18th, Punch said that pre-tax profit was down to £64 million from £76 million in 2011. Meanwhile, net debt decreased by £137 million.
Roger Whiteside, CEO, commented: "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."
He added: "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"
The group is being hampered by debts that were built up before the recession hit. Going forward, Punch said that it would be focussing on a core estate of 2,934 pubs and that the disposal of 2,278 non-core pubs will continue over the next five years. Over the last 18 months Punch has raised £172 million from the sale of 683 pubs and expects to sell 400 pubs in the new financial year.