Punch has reported a 7.5% drop in pre-tax profits for the first half the year to March 2011, as the company revealed that chief executive Ian Dyson is to become chief executive of the demerged managed division, Spirit.
Roger Whiteside will become chief executive of Punch, the leased business, while Steve Dando, currently acting group finance director, will be finance director.
Meanwhile, Walker Boyd, chairman of WH Smith, will join the board of Punch Taverns and will become chairman of Spirit at demerger. Mike Tye, currently managing director of the managed division will be deputy chief executive of Spirit.
Punch said managed like-for-like sales were up 4.9% in the 28 weeks to March, and up 8.6% in the second quarter of the year. Operating profit rose 12%.
Average net income per pub in the leased business was up 0.3%, marking the first growth in three years.
Dyson said: "We are pleased that our operational initiatives continue to translate into improved performance within both the managed and leased businesses.
"Despite the challenging UK consumer environment, we remain confident of making further progress in the second half of the financial year. We have had a good start to the third quarter and are on track to meet our full year expectations.
"This strong trading momentum provides a solid platform for the proposed demerger of Spirit, on which we are making good progress. We are pleased to announce that Walker Boyd will join the Board and become the Chairman of Spirit on demerger and we have confirmed the key executive appointments within both businesses."
By Neil Gerrard
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