Enterprise Inns plc, which operates 71 pubs in the Newcastle area, has reported strong interim results for the six months ended March 31, 2014.
The group, which has invested more than £1.3m improving its pub estate in the city during the last 18 months, increased profit after tax to £37m, compared to £25m in the same period last year.
Profit before tax and exceptional items remained steady at £55m and the company experience a like-for-like net income growth of 1.1%, compared to a 4.2% decline last year.
EBITDA before exceptional items reduced from £153m to £147m, primarily reflecting the impact of the group’s asset disposal programme.
Adjusted earnings per share were up 2.4% at 8.6p and strong cash generation enabled the reduction of net debt from £2.7bn to £2.5bn.
Chief executive Simon Townsend: “I am pleased to be able to report positive progress for the business with like-for-like net income growth in the first half of the year and am particularly encouraged to see this translate into growth in earnings per share.
“Our focus continues to be on the implementation of actions that will sustain our improving trading performance and drive value for our publicans, which include the further enhancement of our pub estate and the provision of exceptional local support.
“Whilst the latter part of the year will be measured against tougher comparatives, I am confident that through our activities to support publicans to grow their businesses we will achieve our target of like-for-like net income growth for the full financial year.”