New River has said “almost all” of its pubs in England, Scotland and Wales are now open and trading.

In a trading update it said its Hawthorne Leisure pub portfolio has “outperformed the wider market since the easing of lockdown restrictions.

“For the 12 week period since 5 July 2020, the day pubs were allowed to open in England, like-for-like volumes in our Leased & Tenanted pubs were down only 8% compared to the same period in 2019, and like-for-like sales in our Operator Managed pubs were down 16% compared to the same period in 2019.

“Our trading performance compares favourably to the wider market over the same period, with data from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker reporting that pub like-for-like sales are down 18% compared to the same period last year.

“Hawthorn returned to profitability within eight weeks of reopening. For the month of September 2020, Hawthorn Group EBITDA was £1.9m, which is 90% of the Hawthorn Group EBITDA in September 2019.

“The liquidity and alternative use value of pubs is evidenced by the fact that, since 1 April 2020, we have sold 19 pubs, generating £5.1 million in proceeds, and two convenience stores, generating £2.1m.”