Greene King has reported record half-year revenue, with turnover up 3.3% to £615m.
The pub group, which last month made a £773m offer for Spirit Pub Company, said adjusted pre-tax profit was up 9.8% at £72m in the 24 weeks to 19 October 2014.
At the start of the financial year it completed the sale of 275 sites to Hawthorn Leisure for £75.6m. Greene King said it aims to continue disposals of non-core sites to reduce its tenanted and leased estate to around 750 sites.
It's pub partners now stands at 864 sites, with EBITDA per site up by 13.8%.
Assuming the Spirit deal goes through, it will add 800 managed pubs and 430 tenanted and leased sites to its estates.
Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand said: "We have delivered record sales and strong returns against a challenging backdrop, reflecting the inherent strength of our business model and our proven strategy. Retail, our largest business, delivered profit growth, while we maintained momentum in pub partners and brewing and brands. As a result, we improved our ROCE [return on capital employed], lowered our leverage and increased the dividend.
"In addition, we have made further, significant strategic progress by increasing our retail estate and disposing of non-core tenanted pubs to enhance further the quality of our estate, and making a recommended offer for Spirit Pub Company."
Chairman Tim Bridge added: "I would especially like to thank all the pub managers who work for us. Running a pub is very challenging and it takes a special individual to run one successfully. We have more than 1,000 such people working in our business and I am immensely proud of the effort and dedication they show, day after day, to build our business for the long-term."