Spirit sees continued managed pub growth
12 June, 2012
Spirit saw like-for-likes sales its its managed pubs grow 3.7% in the 12 weeks to 26 May, with food sales up 6.8% and drink ahead 1.1% on last year. However, its rate of growth, especially in drink, has slowed reflecting the general sales volatility in the market since the start of 2012.
In comparison, like-for-likes for the first 40 weeks of its financial year to date were up 5%, with food ahead 7.1% and drink up 3.9%.
The group has invested in 177 managed pubs in the year to date. CEO Mike Tye said: "Our managed pubs delivered another quarter of good growth against tough prior year comparatives. We continue to significantly outperform the market, as measured by the Coffer Peach Business Tracker, and remain pleased by the continuation of our strong food sales growth which reflects the evolution of our offer across our brands."
Sppirit invested in 21 pubs in the last quarter, bringing the total proportion of the managed estate invested and branded to 79%. However, Tye said there would be minimal investment activity in the final quarter as the group was now focused on maximising the profitability of its pubs during what should be a strong trading period.
Having completed its Taylor Walker and Chef & Brewer brands, Spirit was now close to completing the refurbishment of Fayre & Square and Flaming Grill, Tye said. It intend to complete the investment in its John Barras and Original Pub Company brands during next financial year.
Like-for-like net income in its remaining leased pubs fell by 8.0% in the quarter, compared to a 5.3% decline for the full 40 weeks. Tye said: "Having taken full control of our leased estate at the start of the quarter, our new management team are making progress. The proportion of pubs on a substantive agreement has already increased by 3% from the half year to 87% and we have significantly reduced discounts and concessions to our licensees. As expected, the process of stabilising income is taking time. It has been a challenging quarter set against strong trading comparatives and the impact of current year rent rebasing.
"A full leased estate review has been completed which has identified up to 100 underperforming pubs that we intend to divest, of which so far 27 have already been sold. We have converted 10 leased pubs to our managed brands and will be monitoring the performance of these conversions closely before deciding on the pace of this programme in the next financial year."
For full statement, see www.spiritpubcompany.com/
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