Barkby Group has said it is looking to dispose of its nine-strong pub business in a trading and strategy update.

The company announced it was looking to sell its non-core business in July this year, apart from its core business of premium gastropubs.

“Whilst we continue to grow the pub portfolio the Board continues to review future strategy of the PubCo,” the company said.

“In our July 2022 update the Board announced it had determined to focus on roadside property development and investment and to dispose of all the Group’s other businesses and investments. As we move towards implementing this strategic change, we expect that all non-core businesses, including Barkby Pub Co. Ltd will not form part of the Group moving forward.”

“In recent months, we have met a number of prospective institutional investors and have received positive feedback around scaling our roadside property investment and development business and continue to explore doing so.”

The company reported revenue for its pub business was down 3% year on year compared with Q1 2021, “broadly in line with the overall sector as household spending decreases.” It remains optimistic for a strong festive trading period due to strong Christmas bookings.

Despite inflationary pressure on labour, food, and drink margins, the company said it is protected from energy cost pressures due to contracts fixed in 2020 until December 2023.

It launched a sales process for Workshop Coffee in September, with discussions are ongoing with a number if interested parties, according to the update.

Commenting, Charles Dickson, executive chairman, said: “Following on from our July announcement we have made good progress in streamlining the Group. We have completed the sale of our stake in Verso Biosense and made further progress exiting the remaining non-core businesses.

“We remain focussed on scaling the real estate business, with a particular focus on high quality modern sustainable roadside developments in the form of drive-thru’s, trade counter, last mile logistics, convenience food, EV charging hubs and light industrial commercial buildings. Our view is that this strategy, once scaled, has the ability to deliver double digit annualised total accounting returns.”