Pub firm Punch Taverns is to sell another 1,300 pubs.
The announcement comes as the firm revealed its full year results for the 12 months to 21 August 2010, over which time it sold almost 900 pubs.
Punch still has around 6,700 leased, managed and tenanted pubs although it said it had identified a core estate of 4,700 pubs which it believes have a "long term, sustianable future." "The remainder of the estate where we believe long term viability is compromised will ultimately be disposed of, representing c.1,300 pubs are yeard end," it said.
The company has been pushed into a £160m loss in 2010, after it made £218m in write-downs in the value of its "non-core" estate.
It made a pre-tax profit of £131m for the year to 21 August 2010, down from £160m the year before, but it took a net exceptional charge of £253m, owing largely to the impairments.
Turnover at the company, which has around 6,700 leased, managed and tenanted pubs, stood at almost £1.3b, down from over £1.4b in the year before. It also managed to reduce its net debt by £322m (9%), although its debt mountain still stands at just over £3.1b.
It also invested in around 800 pubs during the year, at a cost of £45m and now claims to be offering support to its tenants totalling just under £2m a month, compared to £1.6m per month last year.
New chief executive Ian Dyson, who took over from Giles Thorley earlier this year, said: "I am delighted to have joined Punch and to have the opportunity to build on the progress made over the past year. While we have been encouraged by more recent trends in both the leased and managed businesses, the economic environment is very difficult and there remains room for improvement across all aspects of our business. I have started a comprehensive review of our strategy, operating performance and capital structure with a view to exploring options to create value for our shareholders."
By Neil Gerrard
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