The leased pubco, which has been working hard to reduce its borrowing, said good weather and the two bank holidays during the period had helped boost trade and although it remains cautious about the 'underlying economic environment' is positive it will reach targets for this year.
"Whilst remaining cautious about the underlying economic environment, we expect to deliver results for the full year in line with our expectations," it said in an interim statement released today.
The operator said it was continuing to sell off ‘non-core’ pubs which do not fit its future profile and was expecting to dispose of 500 pubs by the end of the year, generating an estimated £110m. So far it has sold 335 pubs with net proceeds of £69m in the 44 weeks to 30 July 2011.
The level of borrowings has been reduced through strong cash generation and assets disposals, it said, with bank borrowings on track to be around £450m by the end of the year. It is £80m ahead of schedule in paying back the Unique floating rate notes, having paid back £55m this year.
"We believe that the current levels of borrowing and amortisation are sustainable even if, as we believe, the UK economy and consumer spending remain subdued for a considerable period of time. However, we continue to have the ability to reduce bank borrowing substantially should that be necessary."
Food and future
Enterprise said food was becoming more of a focus at its pubs and estimated that it now accounts for 25 per cent of turnover across the estate.
"The nature of the business model is such that improvements in performance take time to feed through into like for like growth in net income, but we are pleased that many key indicators suggest that we are moving in the right direction. In particular, having seen significant declines over the past two years, our total rent roll (net of concessions) has remained stable for the past five months," it said.
"Our strategy remains clear: to stabilise the business and then to build EBITDA, firstly on a like for like basis per pub and then, as our accelerated disposal programme comes to an end, by growing the absolute level of EBITDA."