EI Group profits drop ahead of Stonegate takeover
Pub chain EI Group reported a decline in full-year profit on Tuesday ahead of its takeover by Stonegate.
In the year to the end of September, underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation fell to £276m from £287m the year before as the company completed the disposal of 354 commercial properties.
Underlying pre-tax profit slipped to £118m from £122m in 2018 and EI made a statutory loss after tax of £209m compared to a profit of £72m.
However, revenue rose £724m from £695m, with Publican Partnerships and the Managed Pubs segment both putting in a solid performance.
Chief excutive Simon Tonsend said: "We are pleased to have maintained the strong trading performance for the year, particularly given the challenging trading comparatives from the summer last year. We continue to deliver sustained like-for-like net income growth within our core Publican Partnerships business and are generating strong returns as we expand our managed operations and managed investments businesses.
"Since 2015 our strategy has been to develop optionality across our asset estate and to strengthen the balance sheet through deleveraging. The completion of the disposal of 354 commercial properties during the year demonstrated this strategy, growing value through the transfer of assets to their optimum use and then unlocking that value through monetisation."
EI Group agreed in July to be bought by Slug & Lettuce owner Stonegate for £1.3bn. Subject to the outcome of a review by the Competition and Markets Authority, it expects the deal to complete in the first quarter of next year.
At 1420 GMT, the shares were down 0.1% at 281.80p.