Punch Taverns has reported core estate net income up 0.3% for the year to 22 August.

In his first update to the market, chief executive Duncan Garrood said he was excited by the opportunities ahead for the company.

Punch said overall profit performance for the year was in line with management expectations and previous guidance and that it expects to report underlying EBITDA of between £193m and £200m.

Average profit per pub is up c.4% with the core estate now expected to generate c.95% of pub EBITDA in the 2016 financial year.

The company, which last week agreed to sell 158 pubs to NewRiver Retail for £53.5m, said disposal proceeds were ahead of guidance at £89m, above book value and at a multiple of 26 times EBITDA.

There has been further reduction in nominal net debt; down £513m in the year and down by £102m since the October 2014 refinancing to £1.4bn.

The property estate has been externally valued at c£2.1bn; £691m in excess of nominal net debt.

Garrood said: “The business has ended the year with a solid set of results, in line with our expectations. The business has clear plans for further debt reduction and will benefit from being able to focus more resources on the higher quality core pub estate.

“Since joining Punch on 15 June I am excited by the opportunities I see in the business. I look forward to updating the market on our plans when we present our full set of results on 12 November.”

The update did not include any mention of the sale of drinks supplier Matthew Clark, in which Punch has a 50% stake. Conviviality, the Bargain Booze operator, last month secured an undertaking that Punch and Hertford Cellars would not sell the business to any other party before 4 September.