Eldridge Pope pleases the City

RURAL PUB group Eldridge Pope yesterday reported its first results since chief executive Peter Phillipson joined in January, and received a positive reception from the City as shares jumped 6 per cent.

The half-year results coincided with the news that the group was closing its beer trading division and looking to sell its three wine businesses to focus on its 129 English pubs under management.

The group owns the branded chains Fireside Inns and Slurping Toad, but is heavily weighted to its 107 unbranded community "wet-led" pubs - drinks rather than food orientated.

The shares closed up 13.5p at 232.5p as half-year pre-tax profits of pounds 2.03m showed a 16.3 per cent rise on the year.

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