Punch Retail, the UK's leading managed pub company, today announced that it has changed its new name to the Spirit Group.

"The new name reflects Spirit Group's independence and gives the company an opportunity to develop a strong identity and brand," the company said in a statement.

Chief executive of Spirit Group, Karen Jones said: "Our new name, Spirit Group, is fresh and distinctive and sums up the enthusiastic and committed approach we take to running pubs. For our people it is a clear sign that Spirit Group is ready to go from strength to strength as a leading player in the UK managed pub market."

The statement continued: "The new identity also reflects the internal work that has already been undertaken to make Spirit Group a strong standalone unit within the parent company, Punch Group. Over the past year Karen Jones has assembled an industry leading board at Spirit Group to pursue the company's clear strategy of becoming number one in the managed pub sector in terms of value, service and quality."