Enterprise Inns chief exec Ted Tuppen to retire

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By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chief operating officer, Public house, Better, Income

Enterprise Inns will see a change of chief executive next year with Simon Townsend set to replace Ted Tuppen
Enterprise Inns will see a change of chief executive next year with Simon Townsend set to replace Ted Tuppen
Enterprise Inns founder and chief executive Ted Tuppen has announced that he will retire from the company in February next year. 

Tuppen, who has held the position for more than 20 years, will be succeeded by Simon Townsend, currently chief operating officer, on 6 February 2014. 

Having founded the business in 1991 before it was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1995, Tuppen has grown Enterprise to become the largest operator of leased and tenanted pubs in the UK with a portfolio that comprises 5,500 properties. 

He said: "I am immensely proud of what we have achieved. It has been a privilege to work with such a great team of colleagues and I am thankful to them all for their support and hard work over the years. I am confident that under Simon’s leadership, the company is in very good hands for the future.”

Chairman Robert Walker said: "Since founding ETI over 20 years ago, Ted has built one of the leading pub companies in the UK. He leaves Enterprise in a strong financial position with improved like-for-like trading and a clear strategy, which is delivering for our publicans and our shareholders.

"On behalf of the Board and everyone at Enterprise, I would like to thank Ted for his outstanding contribution to the company and the wider pub sector. He will be greatly missed and we wish him well
for the future."

Unanimous choice

Townsend, who joined Enterprise in 1999 and has been chief operating officer there since 2006, was said to be the 'unanimous choice' to replace Tuppen. 

"Simon is highly regarded in the pubs sector. He was the unanimous choice to succeed Ted as chief executive," said Walker, "Simon will have the support of a strong management team including finance director, Neil Smith, and I am confident that under Simon’s leadership the company will continue to grow and prosper in the years ahead.”

"The business is in great shape, having come through some of the most challenging economic trading conditions we have ever seen," added Townsend, who said he was determined to maintain 'positive momentum' for the business. "We will remain focused on returning the business to growth, investing in and enhancing the quality of our estate and providing the highest quality support to our publicans." 

Financial year

While business is improving at Enterprise, a preliminary announcement for results for the financial year to 30 September, shows that net income fell 2.9 per cent over the year with pre-tax profit down to £121m from £137m last year. 

Tuppen said there was an 'improving trend' for like-for-like net income in the final quarter, however, with growth of 0.6 per cent. 

"We are pleased to report an improving trend in our trading performance which, together with our actions to improve the quality of the estate and reduce our net debt, puts us on a clear path to return to growth in the near term," he said. 

"This performance was particularly pleasing when set against the challenging economic conditions, the adverse weather at the beginning of the year and the failure of our wines and spirits distributor. It is through the tireless efforts of our employees and the great work of our publicans that we have steered the business toward this growth trajectory and have delivered like-for-like net income growth of 0.6% in our final quarter."

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