Capital Pub Company, the London-based pub group, has reported a 24% increase in revenue for the year to 26th March 2011, driven by organic growth in its existing estate and new openings. The company said it had “traded well through the difficult economic conditions over the past three years and is strongly cash generative”. The group said it now had “a more efficient and robust capital structure” after it had halved its gearing to below 60% and had net debt of approximately £22 million at the year end. As a result of this, the company, which is led by Clive Watson, has decided to resume the payment of dividends. It said that it plans to offer shareholders a cash dividend with a scrip alternative on 21st June, the date when its full-year results will be announced. The group said that the dividend would be at a level not less than the last final dividend payment for the year ending March 2008 of 2.1p. Clive Watson, chief executive, said: “The company is trading well, the balance sheet is robust and the time is right to resume paying dividends to our shareholders.” The company, which currently operates 32 pubs across the capital, said that the New Cross House (formerly the Goldsmiths Tavern) will re-open on 9th May after an extensive refurbishment. Its purchase of the Rye, Peckham is expected to complete this week, and refurbishment of the recently acquired Mansion in West Dulwich will shortly get under way with the pub due to re-open in mid September. Last month, Capital announced a restructuring of its management team and an internal corporate reorganisation as it geared itself up to reach its stated target of operating an estate of between 45 to 50 pubs in London over the next two to three years. The group said that to facilitate this growth it was adopting a number of measures to further strengthen its management structure, which included the appointment of Alex Derrick as its new operations director with immediate effect. It is currently in advanced negotiations on a further pub and is pursuing a number of additional sites. Simon French, analyst at Panmure Leisure, said: “We think this (resumption of dividends payments) is encouraging and underlines the strength of current trading and the balance sheet. The stock is not expensive trading on a CY 2011E P/E of 13.4x and an EV/EBITDA of 7.7x and we reiterate our Buy recommendation and 157p price target.”