Spirit Pub Company has reported a 5.2% rise in like-for-like sales across its managed estate for the year to 20th August and confirmed that chief executive Ian Dyson will be succeeded by his current deputy Mike Tye on 16th December this year. Ebitda for the year across its 800-strong managed estate increased by 11% to £98m, while operating profit climbed 14% to £65m. Spirit said performance across its managed business was driven by a combination of its “continued focus on operational excellence, investment in the estate, brands and people”. It said it was particularly encouraged by a 3.3% increase in the number of covers across the estate. During the year, the group completed 215 refurbishments across its managed estate, which it said were achieving an average return on investment in excess of 25%. At year end, 61% of its estate had been refurbished. It plans to refurbish around 200 pubs in 2011/12. The group’s 550-strong leased division reported that like-for-like net income for the year was down 4.1%, although the company reported a stronger second half of the year with sales down by 1.9%. Ebitda for the leased business declined 3% to £42m, after a 4% reduction in pub numbers. The company said that its leased pubs have an average net income of £97,000. It said that average net income was down 2% during the year, which it said reflected both pub disposals and improving trading trends. Ebitda across the whole of Spirit increased by 7% to £140m (2010 - £131m), while pre-tax profit climbed 17% to £48m (2010 - £41m). Revenue for the 52 weeks was £734.4 million (2010: GBP724.0 million). Net debt stood at £704m. Within the Spirit securitisation, net debt was £817m and the DSCR was 1.7 times at year end, up on the 1.57 times in August 2010. The group said it had made a good start to the new financial year, helped by the recent good weather. Managed like-for-like sales in the first eight weeks were up 4.8%, driven by a 5% increase in food sales and a 5.4% rise in drink sales. Looking ahead, it said it expects the UK consumer environment to be more challenging this year, with costs continuing to come under pressure. Ian Dyson, the outgoing chief executive, said: “Spirit has made great progress this year. We have delivered strong growth in sales and margins, an 18% growth in earnings per share and have made substantial progress in repositioning the business for the future through a combination of investment in our brands, our estate and our people.” On the long flagged up appointment of Tye as Dyson’s successor, Walker Boyd, chairman of Spirit, said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Ian for his significant contribution. He has led the business through a period of major change, leading to the successful demerger of Spirit, a significant improvement in operating performance and results and has put in place strong foundations for the separate businesses to move forward. He will leave Spirit with a clear and exciting strategy, strong operational momentum, a high calibre management team and a well qualified successor in Mike Tye. We wish Ian every success for the future.” “Mike Tye has done an excellent job over the last three years to reposition the Managed business as a leading operator in the UK market. This success together with his previous track record in the hospitality and leisure industry, make him the perfect candidate to succeed Ian and to lead Spirit in the next phase of its development.” Tye joined Punch Taverns in 2008 and was managing director of the managed business prior to the demerger from Punch in August; since then he has been deputy chief executive of Spirit. Dyson joined Punch Taverns last September. He is a non-executive director at Thomas Cook and Betfair and has been linked with leading roles at both companies.