Admiral Taverns has reported a 7.1% rise in underlying EBITDA to £10.4m in the 23 weeks since its c£200m acquisition by US private equity group Cerberus.

Turnover for the period stood at £36.4m, while pre-tax profit was £7.4m. The group, which currently operates 1,030 pubs, said that trading in the first 13 weeks of its new financial year had been “ahead of expectations” assisted by improved weather.

The company, which sold 66 pubs during the period and anticipates a further 12 to 18 months of disposals, said that £90m of debt provided by Cerberus on acquisition of the company was successfully refinanced in June.

A total of 86% of the group’s pubs are on substantive agreements, an increase of 6% in a year.

It also highlighted the results of a survey of 200 of its licensees, which it carried out at the start of this year, which found 70% would “actively recommend someone taking a pub with us”. It described this as a “peer-group leading result comparable to those enjoyed by the traditional family brewers”.

Chairman Jonathan Paveley said: “The five month period in question represents the new Admiral after the successful exit of Lloyds Banking Group and its replacement by Cerberus. Other than a change of ownership and the format of a new holding structure nothing has changed – the ethos, management team and business model remain as was and our licensees, employees and customers have noticed little difference. This continuity of approach is very important to us because operating 1,000 independent businesses, and improving their retail offers, takes a consistent approach applied over years – not weeks or months.

“Every pub and every licensee to whom it is let, is an individual serving a different local market, and we can only improve a pub’s business by providing advice, business-enhancing support services and investment capital. And the medium through which these things are translated into action is trust – trust between the licensee and ourselves. Such trust goes well beyond symbiotic self-interest and takes time to develop and only moments to lose. To earn our licensees’ trust and confidence, the terms on which we let our pubs must be fair, our support diligent and our ethos open. So consistency of approach, personnel, and ethos are essential if we are to improve the trading success of our businesses.

“We will not take short cuts, but will continue to invest for the long term, recognizing that is the way to sustainable success for both us and our licensees.”