Punch Taverns unveiled a significant bounce in its pre-tax profits following its purchase of Pubmaster in 2003.

Punch’s end-of-year sales to 21 August leapt by 49% to £638m (2003: £429m) and pre-tax profit increased by 38% to £156m, compared with £113m a year ago.

Organic growth, which outstripped the 38 weeks’ contribution of Pubmaster, saw like-for-like turnover grow by 2.9% over the past year and profit per pub increase by 3.9%.

The results do not include September’s acquisition of InnSpired.

Despite a rapid increase in size over the past few years, to 8,300 pubs, Punch remains committed to growing its estate to 12,000 pubs. It is currently looking at 350 Spirit Group pubs, which are on sale for between £250m and £300m.

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