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Pubs firm reports lower profits
Enterprise Inns said beer volumes dropped eight per cent year-on-year in the two weeks covering the Olympics this summer
The UK's biggest pub landlord was hit by a plunge in beer volumes during the Olympics as punters stayed at home to enjoy the London 2012 Games.
Enterprise Inns, which has 6,060 leasehold and tenanted pubs, said that while "national pride" might have received a boost, beer volumes dropped 8% year-on-year in the two weeks covering the Olympics, compared to a 3% decline for the financial year.
The Solihull-based group saw pre-tax profits drop 12% to £137 million in the year to September 30 as it continued its disposal programme, selling 301 properties in the period.
Enterprise, which saw like-for-like sales decline 1.2% compared to a 4.3% drop the previous year, said it had raised £208 million from disposals in the period.
Within this, 199 properties were unsustainable pubs, generating net sale proceeds of £67 million, while 102 were "exceptional properties" generating net proceeds of £117 million.
A further 17 were sold as a sale and leaseback package for net proceeds of £24 million.
The group said the year was lifted by events such as the Diamond Jubilee and Euro 2012 football championships, although these were offset by record-breaking rainfall in the period.
Enterprise said it wants to reduce the size of the estate to 5,200 properties over the next three years and spend £180 million on improving the quality of its sites.
It hopes to receive proceeds for disposals in the year to September 2013 of around £150 million.
The board said that due to economic uncertainty, it believes it is not appropriate to resume dividend payments. Shares were slightly higher after the results were published.