The Capital Pub Company has toasted strong results for the half year as London drinkers kept spending despite the disappointing summer.
Capital chief executive David Bruce told Caterer that the operator was "very lucky to be in this resilient London economy" and that the impact of the smoking ban had generally been positive on Capital's 27 pubs.
"We have seen no slowdown in consumer spending and the fact is that now we are smoke free we are still 80% liquor-led," he said.
Bruce said after Capital's year-end results in July that the combination of higher margins on liquor sales and lower wage bills showed that drink-led pubs are still financially viable.
Turnover for the 26 weeks ending 29 September 2007 increased by 36% to £9.16m, with pre-tax profits up 21% to £2.21m.
During the half-year period Capital has acquired four freehold pubs for a total of £10.1m.
As a result Bruce said it was difficult to provide a like-for-like sales comparison as the estate had grown so rapidly.
He added that while sales had benefited from England's run to the final of the Rugby World Cup in the autumn there was potential for a sales impact next summer after England's failure to qualify for football's Euro 2008.
By Christopher Walton