Punch Taverns said recent trading was reasonably good, helping it to put on 12.5p to close at 702.5p on Friday. It also said it faced tough comparisons following last year’s Euro 2004 football tournament. Punch Taverns is emerging as the favourite to buy Avebury Taverns' 450 pubs for around £250m, according to industry insiders. The Mail on Sunday 19/06/05 (Financial Mail) page 6 The Daily Telegraph 18/06/05 page 34 (The Market)