Smoking ban no ‘significant impact' on Punch

06 September 2007 by
Smoking ban no ‘significant impact' on Punch

The smoking ban has had no "significant impact" on Punch Taverns' performance but the poor summer's weather means full-year profits are likely to be down, the pub giant said today.

In a pre-close trading statement for the 52 weeks to 18 August, the group said the introduction of the English smoking ban on 1 July had had little effect on trading and predicted it would be accepted rapidly by drinkers as it had been in Scotland.

However, Punch Taverns chief executive Giles Thorley said that in the early summer "poor weather and flooding affected the trading opportunity for many pubs".

Punch said its pre-tax profit for the full year is likely to be 2-3% lower as a result when it announces its results in November.

Like-for-like profits at the company's 7,561 leased pubs was up 2.7% for the full year and following the disposal of 933 smaller pubs during the year Punch said average profitability was now 10%.

The group's smaller managed pub division, which comprises 887 pubs, increased like for like sales by 3.5%.

Thorley said: "We have made excellent progress in a period of considerable change during which time our pubs have continued to trade well."

Robert McDonald, finance director of Punch Taverns since 2002, is to retire next month. He will be replaced by Phil Dutton, who joined the Punch board as a non executive director in January of this year.

Punch Taverns completes major Spirit managed pubs conversion ahead of schedule >>

Government gives £750,000 rural UK marketing fund boost >>

Hospitality flood cost likely to be millions >>

Smoking ban: One month on >>

Peach Pub Co poaches Punch director >>

Read more on the smoking ban here >>

By Chris Druce

E-mail your comments to Chris Druce here.

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