The UK pub group Enterprise Inns today exceeded expectations by posting a 83% rise in pre-tax profits before exceptional items of £114.5m in the year ended September 30, up from the £62.6 last year. The total was some 4% above market forecasts. Like-for-like sales in its core estates grew 9%.

Encouragingly for the group, the good sale had continued into the current year, with CEO Ted Tuppen saying: "The new financial year has started well and we look forward with confidence to continued success and long term growth in returns for shareholders."

Tuppen, said the company had successfully integrated Laurel Pub Partnerships, which it bought for GBP282 million in May 2002, into the business.

The company also announced that it would be exercising its call option to buy the remainder of the Unique Pub company in which it invested £75m for a 16.8% stake in March 2002.