Punch plans more pubs and profit rise


Pub company Punch Taverns plans to buy several hundred more pubs after turnover and underlying profits both increased in the year to 17 August. The group, which bought 187 pubs last year, saw turnover increase by 6% during the period to £392m, compared with £370m in 2001. Half of the increase in turnover was thanks to the group’s acquisitions.

The group recorded a pre-tax profit of £93m, compared with £85m in 2001, when excluding exceptional and non-recurring costs of £213m arising from its de-merger and flotation earlier in the year.

Giles Thorley, chairman of Punch Taverns, said: “These results fully deliver on expectations at the time of our recent flotation. We have achieved organic growth of over 5%, increased the quality of our earnings and improved the quality of our estate.”

Punch also announced today that its chief executive Stephen Lambert was leaving the company with immediate effect. Punch said this was a “natural progression” of the development of management responsibilities following the IPO and de-merger. Thorley will take over Lambert’s role as chief executive and Phil Cox, currently deputy chairman, will become non-executive chairman.

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