Enterprise Inns (ETI), the leased and managed pub group, has this morning reported a 5% decline in like-for-like (LFL) net income per pub – but did not pay out a dividend despite achieving what it described as a “hard won stability”. Revealing its final results for the year ended 30 September 2010 ETI said that its pubs let on substantive agreements, which account for 89% of its estate of 6,820 pubs and 94% of revenue, had seen LFL net income drop by 2%. Last year the figure was –8%. Ebitda before exceptional items was down from £450m to £405m and it delivered a profit before tax and exceptional items of £175m, down from £208m the year before. Profit after tax £26m, up from £6m. Ted Tuppen, ETI’s chief executive, said: "We have delivered creditable results, hard won stability and genuine operational improvements in difficult circumstances. The economic environment is set to remain challenging and we do not underestimate the impact of the government's austerity measures and fiscal tightening which will affect both our licensees and their customers. “However, the past year has demonstrated the resilience of the best pub operators in the industry and we believe that the profile of our estate, combined with the professionalism and flair of our licensees leaves us well placed to face whatever challenges the year ahead may bring. We remain confident that the business is in a sound position to deliver positive returns to shareholders over the medium term, including the resumption of dividend payments." ETI said that some 2,500 licensees, who have been in their pubs for more than five years, delivered net income declines of 2% during the year and that a similar number of licensees who have been in their pub for between one and five years saw net income grow by more than 2%. It also revealed that some 200 licensees that had joined the company during the year were delivering income growth of 7% year on year – and that on the flipside 1,000 tenants on substantive agreements were seeing declines in the region of –19%. It reported that the balance of the estate represented pubs that were closed, holding over or operating under temporary tenancies and their like-for-like income was down 35% year on year – and it warned many of these pubs would be sold. The group also revealed that it had stopped its temporary management agreement programme because the “number of business failures now declining and the overall quality of our licensees significantly improved”. It spent £15m on support for licensees during the period – down from £21m the year before and said that current support was running at just over £1m per month. It also highlighted the regional variance of LFL net income, with its pubs in the south doing better than its pubs in the north. The company also said that it had written down the value of its estate by some £103m to £5bn. ETI has disposed of 579 non-core pubs during the year, generating proceeds of £166m and a profit of £21m, net of all disposal costs and said that during the year the ebitda generated by these pubs was £12m. It also indicated that it would continue with further pub disposals – while revealing it had achieved £114m from its sale and leaseback programme At 30 September 2010, net debt was £3.3bn compared to £3.bn at the beginning of the financial year. It concluded: “The economic environment, especially with regards to consumer confidence and spending, remains uncertain and increases in VAT and beer duty will continue to put additional pressure on beer volumes. “However, the past year has demonstrated the resilience of the best pub operators in the industry and we believe that the profile of our estate, combined with the professionalism and flair of our licensees leaves us well placed to face whatever challenges the year ahead may bring. “As we seek to build upon the improvements of the past year, we remain confident that in the medium term the business will be in a good position to deliver positive returns to shareholders.”