Pub company with venues in Portsmouth hopes Euros will see boost in trade

PUB giant Enterprise Inns says it is hoping for a boost from next month's Euro 2016 football tournament.

Britain’s biggest pub group, which owns well-known venues in Portsmouth including The Rose in June and The Leopold Tavern, said the timing of Easter had hit trade briefly but business had since bounced back.

And it expects trading to benefit from the month-long football championship.

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Enterprise, which owns more than 5,000 pubs, posted flat underlying pre-tax profits of £57m for the six months to the end of March.

On a bottom line basis, pre-tax profits rose to £40m from £10m a year earlier, when it was hit by hefty one-off costs.

Solihull-based Enterprise said it was braced for ‘disruption’ after the introduction of legislation that will spell the end of tied pubs.

It is reshaping its business in preparation, saying last May it would sell up to 1,000 outlets over the next five years and boost the number of pubs it manages as a result of the government legislation expected to come into force later this year. The firm has lifted the number of pubs it manages to 75 and plans to have more than 100 of these outlets by the end of September. It aims to boost this to 850 outlets by 2020.

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Managed pubs are owned by the group, rather than an individual landlord.

Enterprise is also building up a commercial property arm and said its portfolio has now grown to 264, with an average annual rental income of £59,000.

Simon Townsend, chief executive of Enterprise, said: ‘We are continuing to make good progress.’