After a year of transition, Regent Inns is now poised to begin consolidating the pub market, according to its executive chairman.
Bob Ivell added: "The group's financial position has been strengthened significantly from a year ago. We believe Regent now has a firm platform from which to pursue market consolidation."
Ivell said the company's financial position had been strengthened significantly in the past year, and the Walkabout bar chain had performed strongly.
In the twelve months ended 2 July Regent had nine sites up for disposal, of which four have now been sold, three remain under offer and two continue to be marketed.
Net bank debt was reduced by £12.6m to £58.5m, and the company has negotiated a five-year debt facility of £100m with its banks.
Overheads at the group were reduced by £1.5m.
Turnover was up by 7% to £131.3m (2004: £122.7m) from ongoning operations, and like-for-like sales grew by 2% after a 5.4% fall in 2004.
Pre tax profit was 8.8% down at £11.3m (2004: 12.3m).
Regent is to concentrate on improving the performance of its Jongleurs comedy clubs and Bar Risa in the coming year.
by Chris Druce