UK: Pubs n Bars on the brink
There is uncertainty over the future of Pubs n Bars, afer the UK pub chain suspended trading on the UK stock exchange.
Pubs n Bars today (4 December) suspended trading on its 100-strong pub business on the UK's AIM stock exchange.
The move comes a week after the group said that banks were supporting the business on a "day-to-day basis" and that a lack of supplier credit was "having an adverse effect on the group's working capital".
"We are trying to clarify the banks' position," said a spokesperson for the firm, which specialises in 'community' pubs in southern England. The company's ability to continue "depends on the banks", he told just-drinks.
More than 50 pubs are closing their doors for good every week across the UK, according to the British Beer and Pub Association.
Recession has exacerbated a cocktail of problems for the UK on-trade, including lower availability of credit, a smoking ban and the availability of cheaper alcohol in the off-trade.
Last month, Pubs n Bars reported a drop in net sales for its fiscal half-year to the end of June, to GBP10.3m (US$17m) from GBP11.2m in the same period of 2008.
The group swung to losses of GBP0.74m, compared to net profits of around GBP15,000 a year earlier. Net debt at the end of June was GBP34m.
Independent auditors issued an "emphasis of matter" on the firm's half-year accounts in order to highlight concern about its ability to "continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future", Pubs n Bars said in its results statement.
Sectors: Beer & cider
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