Ei Group, formerly Enterprise Inns, has said it is pleased to have “maintained growth momentum despite challenging trading conditions” in the six months ended 31 March 2018.
The group reported underlying EBITDA of £139m, down from £140m in the same period in 2017, with profit before tax remaining steady at £57m.
The group’s managed pubs saw like-for-like sales grow by 6.6%, while its publican partnerships estate has reported more modest growth of 0.6%.
In its interim results, posted this morning, the company said it has completed a £20m share buyback programme, which has seen seen the cancellation of 15 million shares at an average price of £1.32.
Chief executive Simon Townsend said: “We are pleased to have maintained the growth momentum in our leased and tenanted estate during the first half of the year. This is despite challenging trading conditions for the sector as a whole, with inflationary pressures and some fragility in consumer spending compounded by particularly poor weather towards the end of the period.
“To have achieved overall growth in net income despite these headwinds underlines the benefits of our flexible business model and gives us confidence that we are on track to deliver positive like-for-like net income growth in our leased and tenanted business for the full year.
“Our managed operations continue to trade well, with good returns achieved upon conversion and we expect the financial contribution from such conversions to increase in the coming years, delivering long-term incremental value to the Group. Our managed investments and commercial properties businesses are
successfully building the value-enhancing characteristics of portfolio quality and scale, consistent with our objective to monetise their value over time.”