Pubs’n’Bars credited shifting its focus from management to tenancy for an increase in first half pre-tax profits. The company this afternoon reported profit before tax of £530,822 for the six months to 30 June, against £518,402 in the same period last year, an increase of 2.4%. In contrast, turnover was down 0.85% to £6.9m, reflecting the now-completed move from management to tenancy. Operating profit has risen to 13.76% compared with 10.52% at the end of 2002. Gearing is now 84% compared to 90% in June 2003 and 118% at 30 June 2002. Mike Mealey, the company’s chairman, said: "Many businesses are currently experiencing difficult trading against an uncertain future arising from the new Licensing Act, a possible ban on smoking in pubs and rising energy costs. "Whereas our like-for-like sales are only marginally higher than last year, we continue to look forward enthusiastically and are actively seeking new acquisitions and opportunities."