Spirit tips mixed results from big events

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The Independent Online

The Summer of Fun events this year will have very mixed impacts on the pub trade, according to Mike Tye, the chief executive of Spirit, which includes the Chef & Brewer and Taylor Walker chains.

His first concern is the UEFA European finals. "If we can field 11 fit players, appoint a manager who can manage, and make it past the first knockout stage, we could make a lot of extra money," he half-jested.

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee could be very good news. "It looks like a lot of people will take the whole week off and, rather than go abroad, they'll stay at home and go out to pubs, which could be very good," Mr Tye said.

But the Olympics were more difficult to judge. "There will be an influx of people. But the costs of servicing the business in areas like security and changing deliveries around the 30 venues could outweigh any extra takings."

Spirit reported a 7 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £20m yesterday and unveiled its first dividend – of 0.65p – since its demerger from Punch last year.

Mr Tye said Spirit had seen strong improvements in its managed estate of 800 pubs, driven by food sales. The 550 leased pubs – of which 80 will be sold and 100 will become managed houses – performed in line with management plans.