Punch Taverns, the managed and leased operator of 9,200 pubs, has unveiled ebitda up 47% to £606m, on the back of its acquisition of Spirit Group last January. Sales rose 101% to £1.5bn. Unveiling full-year results to August 19, Giles Thorley, chief executive, told M&C Report: “It's been a transformational period for the business. In little more than a year we have completed eight corporate transactions and made good progress with our core leased and managed estates.” The company most recently acquired Mill House Inns, the 82-strong managed house operator led by Ted Kennedy, from Halifax Bank of Scotland for £164m, which it is integrating into Spirit Group, it managed arm. Since it bought Spirit for £2.7bn, Punch had sold 351 pubs for £690m, including a 290-strong package to GI Partners for £570m. A further 38 pubs have been sold or contracted for sale since the year end, including 31 Old Orleans bar-restaurants to Regent Inns, for £26m. It had converted 155 Spirit sites to lease, with a further 175 agreed. It plans to complete the conversions next summer, having recently released the third and final package of 266 pubs. The company also sold GRS, a temporary-services managed operator that was acquired with the Pubmaster business, to its management. The subsidiary produced ebitda of about £1m. Like-for-like sales at Spirit were up 3.6% in the 32 weeks since its acquisition. Within the core estate like-for-likes were ahead by 6.0%, with outlet profit growth of 4.6%. The simplified Spirit business, which will comprise about 750 pubs, has been simplified down to three divisions - Value Food, Quality Dining and Quality Locals. Andrew Knight, who was appointed managing director of Spirit Group in February, has been appointed to the main Punch board. In the leased estate like-for-like revenue growth was up 1%, with profit per pub up 1.9%. During the year it acquired 96 pubs and sold 551 sites. Between Punch and its lessees, a total of £78m was invested in capital expenditure projects at 950 pubs. During the period it let over 1,000 pubs on long-term agreements. The company said that an average of 129 licensee applications were received each week and it had 2,300 screened applicants on its books. Phil Cox, Punch's non-executive chairman, has decided to retire. Cox will be replaced by Peter Cawdron, an existing non-executive, who also holds directorships at Compass and Capita. Martin Glenn has decided to step down as non-executive director following his appointment as chief executive of Igloo-Birds Eye. Punch is yet to announce a replacement. Group debt was £675m lower than at the interim stage at £4.88bn, and included £562m cash. The average interest cover by ebitda during the year was 1.94x. Pre-tax profits rose 21% to £250m, before non-recurring and exceptional items.