Admiral Taverns has described trading for the year to 3 June as “a robust performance” in the face of the “distraction and bureaucratic burden of sector regulation”.

The c800-strong group recorded turnover of £69.2m, down from £69.5m the previous year with underlying EBITDA essentially flat at £25.1m. Underlying EBITDA per average number of pubs grew 3.2% while underlying EBITDA to net debt rose to 3.4x.

The group said the results reflected good performance from the core estate, non-core pubs disposed of in the prior year and incremental costs of the Pubs Code

EBITDA in the core estate was up 1.1% on a like-for-like basis to £24m, with like-for-like estate valuation increasing by 5.6%. Over £8m was invested in the core estate during the course of the year.

The group said that in the current financial year EBITDA growth was in line with expectations despite a challenging trading environment.

Since the period the acquisition of Admiral by Proprium Capital and C&C Group has completed, as well as a separate deal to take on 17 pubs from Heineken.

The group pointed to its strong relationship with tenants as core to its success, reinforced by the results of MCA’s 2017 Tenant Track survey, where Admiral was once again the top national pub company.

Chief executive Kevin Georgel said: “In a year which saw the distraction and bureaucratic burden of sector regulation and the impact of growing economic and political uncertainty in the aftermath of the EU referendum, Admiral has delivered a robust performance with good underlying like for like growth across our core estate.

“Since the year end we have been delighted to welcome onboard new and supportive partners, C&C Group Plc and Proprium Capital, as the Group continues to build on the strong platform it has established in recent years. In November we announced the acquisition of 17 pubs from Star Pubs & Bars, early testament to our ambitious growth plans, and we look forward to reviewing further opportunities in our sector as they arise.

“Whilst the wider trading environment continues to be challenging, we see evidence that consumers are prioritising affordable, authentic, experiences in their local area which well-invested, community pubs stand to benefit from. As such, trading since the year end has continued in line with our expectations.”