Managed bars in high spirits


A STRONG performance by Spirit Pub Company’s managed outlets was last week credited with offsetting a drop in income across its leasehold division.

Posting its second quarter trading update for the 12 weeks to March 3, the firm, which demerged from Punch Taverns last August, said it remains “on track” to deliver its full-year trading expectations.
Like-for-like sales across its 803 managed pubs, which includes the Chef & Brewer and John Barras brands, climbed 4.6% in the 12-week period, with food sales driving the growth, up 6.2% in the 12 weeks. Drinks sales were up 3.9%.
Spirit’s leased division, which has more than 500 pubs, saw like-for-like income fall by 6.4% in the 12 weeks to March 3.
Chief executive Mike Tye said the firm’s investment programme across its managed estate is on track, with 156 outlets refurbished in the first half of its financial year.
In its leasehold division, 80 “underperforming” pubs have been identified for disposal. Seven leased pubs have been converted to managed outlets, with
a further 20 earmarked for conversion.
“While we are mindful of the ongoing economic uncertainty and consumer pressures, we remain on track to deliver our full-year expectations,” Tye said.
The trading update came as Spirit launched a new recruitment website. Smart phone compatible, the new site ( has a CV builder, jobs section, candidate interviews and targeted local jobs searches.