Mitchells & Butlers today confirmed it was planning to press on with its proposed £4.5b property joint venture with investor Robert Tchenguiz despite already losing £140m on the deal.
The delay meant losses from hedging the deal more than doubled from £60m to £140m.
However, announcing a trading statement today, chief executive Tim Clarke said: "We continue to believe that significant value can be released to shareholders through creating a dedicated property company structure and we continue to have discussions to implement a transaction as and when the credit markets stabilise."
The statement, released ahead of full-year results in November, revealed that like-for-like sales were up 3.2% in the 50 weeks to 15 September, with demand for food particularly strong.
Since the English smoking ban was implemented in July, like-for-like sales in pubs that had not already banned lighting up were up 2.2%.
However, Clarke warned that future performance was likely to be impacted by a fall in consumer spending and rises in food and wage costs.
By Daniel Thomas