Pubs 'n' Bars goes into administration

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The Independent Online

Pubs 'n' Bars, the owner of 87 community pubs mainly in the South-east, has collapsed into administration after falling victim to the downturn in consumer spending.

The Aim-listed company yesterday appointed Grant Thornton as administrator, which warned that some pubs will close. Pubs 'n' Bars, which had debts of about £24m, was also hit by the smoking ban, credit insurers scaling back cover for suppliers and a fall in income from machines on premises.

David Thurgood, a joint administrator at Grant Thornton, said: "We are currently assessing the financial situation of the group and each of the pubs individually, whilst all the pubs remain operational for the time being. However, it is clear that some of the weaker units may need to be closed to conserve cash in the business." Two-thirds of its pubs are operated by managers, with the rest run by tenants.

In the year to 31 June 2009, Pubs 'n' Bars posted a loss of £691,000, after a profit of £128,000 the year before. Its sales fell to £10.3m, compared with £11.2m the previous year. In September, the company's subsidiary, Moorgate Taverns, an estate of 10 freehold pubs, also appointed administrators.