In its annual review of the sector, Fleurets argued successful operators had managed to deal with a number of issues over the past five years and said it was optimistic the 'bad news is behind us' as thoughts turn to 2013.
"Instead of daily reports of doom and gloom and the cynic’s death knell for the industry, we now have daily reports of positive performance, new companies, prize winning licensees and growing markets within the sector, such as traditional real ales," Martin Willis, managing director of Fleurets said.
Among the firm's positive predictions for 2013, Fleurets said the closure of poorly-trading pubs had improved the potential for the remaining boozers.
Pub Positives for 2013
- Pubcos have outperformed the FTSE 100
- The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has announced small pub companies have enjoyed a rise in like-for-like sales of 4.9 per cent
- The ALMR has also revealed that pub running costs stabilised this year
- Less pubs are closing down - 12 a week as opposed to 40
- Sales by larger pubcos, which are getting their debt levels down, have benefited regional breweries and smaller pubcos
"We reported our optimism in the sector back in 2008, and each year since, despite the doom mongers. We are pleased that our faith in the sector and predictions have been proven correct. Let us hope that the few remaining negative issues get resolved soon and that in 2013 we see even more positive news," Willis added.
Whilst admitting that many traditional lenders are increasingly reluctant to back the sector, Fleurets said it expected a number of large transactional deals which have been the subject of recent rumours to become reality next year.
The leisure property specialist also predicted a 'steady stream' of sales of 'distressed' properties in the next year.