Ei Group has reported like-for-like net income growth of 2% across it tenanted and leased pubs estate in the 18 weeks to 2 February.

Ahead of its annual general meeting today, the group also revealed that like-for-like sales at sites that have traded as managed pubs for more than a year were up 5.7%, aided by a particularly strong Christmas.

The managed estate now comprises 398 pubs, up from 355 at 30 September 2018, with the expectation that there will be approximately 460 by 30 September 2019.

At today’s meeting, the group will seek shareholder approval for the sale of its commercial properties arm for £348m. If the disposal is approved, completion of the first tranche of the disposal, comprising 348 of the properties to be sold, is expected to occur in early March 2019.

Chief executive Simon Townsend said: “The year has started well, with growth being maintained across our operating businesses and, despite the ongoing uncertainty regarding the consumer environment, we are on track to deliver our plans for the year. The proposed disposal of a substantial proportion of our commercial property portfolio is in line with our strategy of unlocking the embedded value from every asset within our business and monetising that value creation for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

Ei Group chief executive Simon Townsend will be one of the speakers at MCA’s Tenanted Pub Company Summit on 26 February at London’s Jumeirah Carlton Tower. To find out more please visit the website