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Punch shares rise on news of pick-up

SHARES in Punch Taverns have risen by nearly 8% after it told investors it would take longer to dispose of its non-core outlets.

Punch has earmarked 1106 mainly small and wet-led pubs for sale because they produce lower profits and offer limited scope for investment. It also said these pubs were more likely to be more affected by the long-term decline in drinking out.

However, after a pick-up in trading, Punch said it would take longer for the tenants to vacate the outlets, pushing back its disposal plans.

The non-core outlets accounted for 18% of Punch outlet EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) at £43 million for the year ended August 17, 2013.

Shares in Punch closed up 1p or 7.84% at 13.75p.

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