Punch Taverns likely to sell 1,300 pubs

More than 1,300 of the 6,700 pubs owned by Punch Taverns are likely to be sold or closed over the next few years.

The pub owner's new boss, Ian Dyson, said the group had identified the pubs as having no 'long-term viability.'

Finance director Phil Dutton, said, “These pubs don't feel like they have a viable, sustainable profit level. Many of them are trading reasonably well today, but we feel their profitability is not long term.

“They are places with limited scope to expand trade into food or soft drink. It is hard to see how they can evolve,” he added.

Back in 2006, when Punch Taverns was at its peak, the group owned more than 9,200 pubs. Last year 893 pubs were sold, for a total of £254 million.

The 1,300 pubs now on the chopping block look likely to be bought by restaurant chains or landlords who will use them as student accommodation.

Once these have been sold off, Punch Taverns will be down to 4,700 leased pubs and around 700 managed pubs.

Alongside the planned sell-offs, Dyson has also launched a 'comprehensive strategy review,' with some industry experts suggesting that this could mean anything from selling off the 700-strong managed estate, to a major shake-up of the company's financing structure.

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