Enterprise Inns has updated on trading for the 18 weeks to 4 February and announced its name change to Ei Group.

It showed like-for-like net income growth up 1.6%, which it said was a result of continued stabilisation of rental income and growing income from beer sales, driven by targeted capital investment, operational support and commercial benefits provided to our publicans.

The group said it expected to be operating in the region of 400 commercial properties by the financial year end. Of these, 181 traded throughout this reporting period and the prior period, delivering like-for-like net income growth of 2.1%. It continues to expect to have in the region of 250 managed houses operational by 30 September.

On the name change to Ei Group plc, effective from 8am tomorrow, the group said it reflected the transformation of the business from a single, predominantly leased and tenanted operation, to a portfolio of businesses comprising a variety of operating models and trading styles designed to optimise the value derived from the asset base.

Chief executive Simon Townsend said: “We are pleased to have made a good start to the year, delivering continued like-for-like growth in our leased and tenanted business and an encouraging performance from our commercial property and managed house businesses. Despite potential headwinds from legislative cost increases and the new regulatory environment we remain confident that we are on track to deliver our expectations for the full financial year.

“Furthermore, we have made good progress executing our operational strategy, in which the Group is evolving as a portfolio manager of operating assets. We believe the time is right to recognise that we now have strong, differentiated divisional businesses operating under a group umbrella and move forward under our new name of Ei Group plc.”