Enterprise Inns (ETI) has indicated that it has made 'excellent progress' in shedding poorly-performing pubs, as it updated the City on trading.
The news came ahead of the announcement of its interim results for the half year ending 31 March, which are due on 11 May this year.
Enterprise said: "We have made excellent progress disposing of underperforming pubs which do not fit the future profile of the ETI business."
It also criticised the Government for its £4.3m funding package over the next three years, announced by pubs minister John Healey earlier this month. The package compared "poorly" with the £20m Enterprise claimed it had spent supporting "deserving licensees" last year, and "pales into insignificance" when compared to the "extra £160m beer duty burden imposed by the Chancellor in his latest Budget," the company said.
And it added that it was continuing to offer financial support to licensees who found themselves in difficulty. "We are encouraged that whilst the total cost of this support, business failures and temporary management agreements remains above the corresponding level last year, these costs are reducing," it said.
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By Neil Gerrard
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