Commentary: A problem that is not small beer
Wednesday 24 February 1993
Individuals who freely sign on the dotted line are ultimately responsible for their side of the agreement. In legal terms, shareholders of Grand Met are entitled to disregard the protesting publicans at the company's annual meeting yesterday. But the shareholders might also ask themselves whether it is in their own interests to cleave to such legalism.
The trading picture for the UK's 70,000 or so pubs is far from rosy. Beer consumption, now down to 1971 levels, is continuing to fall. Moreover, Inntrepreneur, the pub group that Grand Met jointly owns with Courage, has a particular problem. The failure rate of its 20- year leases is running at a high level, and its balance sheet had to be shored up last year to prevent banking covenants being breached.
Grand Met argues that a 9 per cent failure rate for its leases is small compared with a normal tenanted estate. But these pubs are better than average.
Like a property company, Inntrepreneur's eyes are fixed firmly on rents rather than trading. As a result, publicans are in danger of becoming an expendable commodity. If Grand Met does not ease off the rental accelerator, it faces the real danger of seeing a small issue escalate into something far more serious.
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 Amber Roof: Sister of Charleston shooting suspect Dylann Roof launches fund-raising appeal for wedding and honeymoon
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
- 5 BP hit with record $18.7 billion fine over Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Amber Roof: Sister of Charleston shooting suspect Dylann Roof launches fund-raising appeal for wedding and honeymoon
Russell Brand condemns moment of silence for Tunisia attack victims as a 'minute of bulls**t'
Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
Worker killed by robot at Volkswagen car factory
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
iJobs Money & Business
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...