Pub group Punch has reported a like-for-like net income decline of 1.2% in its leased and tenanted estate in interim results published today.
The group's financial report for the 28 weeks to 4 March 2017 added that this was "flat after adjusting for the impact of the previously flagged temporary slow-down in letting activity".
Subject to competition conditions, the sale of the Group to Heineken for £403m is expected to complete before the end of August.
Punch reported an underlying adjusted EBITDA of £88m (down from £94m over the same period in 2016), reflecting the impact of £53m of disposals completed over the past 12 months. It also reported a statutory loss before tax of £174m as opposed to the £55m profit it reported over the same period in 2016.
The company has doubled the size of its retail pub division since the August 2016 year end, with 171 pubs open and trading. However, it also said "recent market uncertainty resulting from the sale of the Group has impacted letting activity, together with the previously reported impact of the new Pubs Code Regulations. Consequently, we now expect it to take up to 12 months to return to our long-term target of having a core estate of 93%-95% let on substantive agreements."
Duncan Garrood, chief executive of Punch, said: "During the period, we have doubled the size of our retail estate and continue to innovate our operating agreements. This has been achieved whilst managing through a period of significant change, ahead of the sale of the group which is now expected to complete before the end of August 2017."
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