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Transition year cuts pubs' profits

PUBS CHAIN Slug & Lettuce yesterday reported that a year of transition was to blame for its slight fall in annual profits. The group, which changed its name from Grosvenor Inns during the early part of year, said the disposals had changed its business from a multi-branded group into one "quality brand".

Slug & Lettuce posted a fall in pre-tax profits from pounds 867,000 last year to pounds 757,000 to the year ended 31 May 1998. Turnover decreased from pounds 23.8m to pounds 22.6m. Tim Thwaites (above), the chairman, said: "This has been a remarkable year. We have sold 19 non-core pubs where performance at the time of sale was below that of the previous year.

"I am delighted with the excellent performance of the constantly evolving Slug & Lettuce brand, and I look forward to reporting on a successful outcome for the current year."

The final dividend remains unchanged at 6.38p.