Whitbread has emerged as a major victim of the collapse of Laurel Pub Company into administration, writes Paul Charity. The company has made a provision of £20.9m against leases on 15-plus pubs that it opened in high-street sites – branded Hogshead, Bar Me and Casa – that are likely to revert to them. Analyst Geof Collyer, of Deutsche Bank, said: “We do not see this as a big issue, more of an unwelcome irritation.”