Devon pub company Heavitree Brewery is to close down its managed-pub operation and convert existing sites to tenancy and leased, in a bid to turn business around.
The company, which has forecast a small operating loss for the six months to 30 April 2008, instigated a strategic review in June to consider how to best position itself in what are increasingly tough conditions for the licensed trade.
Over the course of the next few months all of Heavitree's 20 managed sites will transfer to lease or tenancy and the group has begun its search for new tenats and leaseholders.
On completion of the process the Devon business will have 84 tenanted or leased pubs. The company said the move to close its managed operation would affect 30 jobs.
In a statement, Heavitree said: "The board has given careful consideration to all the options available before choosing the one which, it believes, should place the company in the strongest possible position to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead."
By Chris Druce
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