RNS Number : 3935L
Spirit Pub Company PLC
04 September 2012



4th September 2012

Press Release

Spirit Pub Company plc


Fourth Quarter Trading Update for the 12 weeks to 18th August 2012

Spirit Pub Company ("Spirit") today issues its trading update for the final quarter of the current financial year. Its preliminary results for the 52 weeks to 18th August 2012 will be announced on 16th October 2012.

Highlights

· A strong final quarter for our Managed estate, with continued market outperformance

· Implementing measures to improve performance in our Leased estate

· Decision taken to move to a market valuation of our estate

Managed

· Like-for-like sales +4.1% (+4.8% 52 weeks)

· Food Sales +4.5% (+6.4% 52 weeks)

· Drink Sales +3.3% (+3.8% 52 weeks)

Our Managed pubs division delivered another quarter of solid growth, notwithstanding volatile trading conditions and the adverse impact of both the wet summer and the Olympics. With further improvements in our people, brands, properties and infrastructure we continue to significantly outperform the market* and to deliver good growth in both drink and food sales reflecting our broad portfolio of high-quality Managed brands.

*Source: Coffer Peach Business Tracker

Leased

· Like-for-like net income -5.4% (-4.9% 52 weeks)

It was another challenging quarter for our Leased estate as performance continued to be impacted by current year rent rebasing. Our prime focus remains on improving performance in the division and creating shareholder value. As part of delivering these objectives, we continue to develop the framework for our alternative operating models and will update the market on our progress at our preliminary results presentation.

Estate valuation

We announced at the time of our interim results in April our intention to commission an independent report on the open market valuation of our pub estate. Based on the results of this review, the Board has decided to change the Company's accounting policy to move to an open market valuation basis which we believe will give greater transparency on the underlying value of our property assets than the previous method based on historic cost.

As the majority of our properties are held at historic acquisition cost, this will result in our properties being valued at c. £1.3bn, a net downward accounting adjustment of c.£0.5bn versus the previous book value of £1.8bn. This will consist of a c.£0.6bn exceptional, non-cash charge in the income statement and c.£0.1bn balance sheet valuation credit. The final results of this valuation and accounting policy change, which has no impact on our cashflow or on any of our financial covenants, will be disclosed at the time of our preliminary results announcement in October.

Mike Tye, Chief Executive, commented:

"We have finished the year strongly despite challenging trading conditions created by the poor summer weather and the disruption caused by the Olympic Games. Our Managed estate performance remains significantly ahead of the market* and we continue to implement measures in our Leased estate to improve performance. Whilst the consumer environment remains tough, we continue to perform in line with expectations and are making good progress towards realising the full potential of our business."

*Source: Coffer Peach Business Tracker

ENQUIRIES

Spirit Pub Company plc

Tel: 01283 498 158

Matt Worster


Brunswick Group LLP

Tel: 0207 404 5959

Kim Fletcher

Tim Danaher

Natalia Dyett



Conference Call

There will be a conference call for analysts and investors at 8.30am today. Those wishing to join the call should pre-register by contacting Brunswick Group LLP on the number above.

A replay of the call will be available until 4th October 2012 by calling:

+44 (0) 1452 55 00 00

Access code: 21733935


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
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