Pubs and Bars

Ei Group earnings slip following large-scale property disposal 

Pub company, Ei Group, saw earnings slide by £11m to £276m for the financial year ended 30 September 2019, largely affected by the disposal of 354 commercial property assets.

The group’s total portfolio now amounts to 125 properties, compared with 412 last year, but it added that average net income per property “remains strong” at £75,300, up slightly from £72,300 a year ago.

The group also reported statutory loss after tax of £209m, compared with profits of £72m seen the previous year, following non-underlying finance costs of £15m.

This was primarily in relation to early redemption charges, non-underlying property charges of £62m largely relating to the allocation of £35m of goodwill to property disposals and an impairment of goodwill of £232m.

Additionally, underlying profit before tax declined to £118m during the period, down from £122m in 2018.

Simon Townsend, chief executive officer, said: “We are pleased to have maintained the strong trading performance for the year, particularly given the challenging trading comparatives from the summer last year.

“We continue to deliver sustained like-for-like net income growth within our core Publican Partnerships business and are generating strong returns as we expand our Managed Operations and Managed Investments businesses.”

He added: “Since 2015 our strategy has been to develop optionality across our asset estate and to strengthen the balance sheet through deleveraging.

“The completion of the disposal of 354 commercial properties during the year demonstrated this strategy, growing value through the transfer of assets to their optimum use and then unlocking that value through monetisation.”

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