Enterprise Inns pins hopes on local heroes


Click to follow
The Independent Online

The Queen's Jubilee will be a boon to pubs, and so will the Euro 2012 football tournament. But what the Olympics will do for the nation's boozers is less clear.

So says Ted Tuppen, Enterprise Inns' chief executive. "We have less visibility, less history to judge what will happen with the games," he said.

Enterprise is pinning its hopes on a marketing push that links Britain's athletes to their nearest pub – in the hope that drinkers will get behind the athlete from their home town.

"We all suddenly became interested in curling when those Scottish girls were doing well a few years ago," Mr Tuppen recalled.

He was talking as Enterprise unveiled profit for the half year of £64m, a fall of £10m.

The highly indebted group is in no position to pay a dividend to shareholders who have seen the shares crash from around 800p a few years ago to 68p yesterday. Its debts are down by £200m to £2.9bn.

Mr Tuppen said pubs had been subjected to four years of difficult conditions, and those that had survived were in decent shape.

Enterprise, a so-called tied operator which leases pubs to private landlords, charging them rent and selling them beer, says its estate of 6,000 pubs is much improved, although like-for-like net income was down 1.6 per cent.