Buoyed by October's Rugby World Cup, pub operator Stonegate converted an 11% rise in like-for-like pub profit in its half year results to 10 April 2016.
The group, which manages 660 pubs, reported that total revenue was up 12.8% to £342m while EBITDA rose 21% to £50.2m. Meanwhile like-for-like revenue was up 2.1% and like-for-like pub profit rose 10.6%.
During The Rugby World Cup in October like-for-like revenue was up 4.7%, while trading in the two weeks over Christmas was up 5.9%.
Like-for-like gross margin was up 2.8% in the 28-week period, achieved through "profitable pricing initiatives" and synergies afforded by the Tattershall Castle Group acquisition.
Since the half-year end, Stonegate said it had continued to trade well, with business strong for Euro 2016 and Q3 currently 5% up on like-for-like sales.
Stonegate chief executive Simon Longbottom said: "Stonegate has enjoyed a very strong first half in which we have maintained our mantra of sales, margin and profit growth.
"I am very proud of our people and their hard work in ensuring we deliver excellent customer service day in day out in our businesses.
"The Maclay's and TCG businesses acquired last year have integrated well and are growing from strength to strength within the enlarged group. We continue to see good opportunities both to invest in our existing estate as well as via selective acquisitions, as we continue with our growth strategy to build the leading drinks-focused nationwide managed pub business."
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