The Investment column: Inn with the old crowd
Wednesday 27 May 1998
The business is no longer family controlled and is now simply a pub group with a mix of 189 managed and tenanted pubs. The shares edged up 3p to 331.5p yesterday on half year profits which rose from pounds 1.5m to pounds 1.8m, even though analysts find the company's pub portfolio a safe but unexciting prospect.
True, the estate is being improved. More than 20 underperforming pubs have been weeded out and the strategy is to re-invest the proceeds in high-yielding managed outlets. Like-for-like profits in the managed houses were up by 9 per cent.
But Eldridge Pope has come late to the themed bars business and its two modern formats, the Bar Excellence city centre bars and the Slurping Toads, which cater for younger drinkers, are not seen as leaders in the field against rivals such as All Bar One and Pitcher & Piano.
Perhaps more interesting are the 16 Fireside Inns pubs which are aimed at an older audience. With a higher degree of emphasis on food, the concept might have more mileage than bars aimed at hip young city dwellers.
Eldrige's spread of business may make it a safer haven for investment during a downturn. But if the boom in modern theme pubs continues, Eldridge Pope could be exposed. Assuming full year profits of pounds 6.4m, the shares trade on a forward rating of 15. About right.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
iJobs Money & Business
£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...