Strong food sales have helped drive an 8.6% increase in like-for-like sales for the 12 weeks to 5 March 2011 at pub company Punch.
Food sales at the managed division rose 11.7% in the past 12 weeks (+6.3% over 28 weeks) and drink sales were up 7% over the period (+3.9% over 28 weeks). Overall like-for-like sales have now risen 4.9% over the past 28 weeks.
Punch said it had refurbished 135 pubs in its managed estate over the past 12 weeks, focusing on its Chef & Brewer, Fayre & Square and Flaming Grill brands. It said it would refurbish 200 pubs in the full year.
Meanwhile, leased pubs saw like-for-like net income drop 6.1% over the 12 weeks to 5 March (-7% over 28 weeks)
Punch said its continued disposal programme together with improved like-for-like trends had resulted in a growth in net income per pub for the first time since March 2008.
Ian Dyson (pictured), chief executive officer of Punch Taverns, 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 further improvements being delivered in the second half of this financial year and are on track to meet our full-year expectations."
The company will announce the outcome of its strategic review on 22 March 2011.
By Neil Gerrard
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