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Enterprise says smoking ban will lead to pub closures

Published:  23 July, 2008

Pub group Enterprise Inns has released its first drop in profits for five years, and said that worse could be to come following the smoking ban.

According to Ted Tuppen, chief executive of Enterprise, took a cautious view: "The new financial year has started well," he said, "but we remain cautious about consumer confidence and the impact through the coming winter of the smoking ban."

Profits fell to 301 million, from 315 million last year at Enterprise Inns, the second biggest pub group in the UK. The company also said that it will put 100 of its 7,700 pubs up for sale in the coming year.

The UK government has turned down an attempt by Enterprise to convert to Real Estate Investment Trust status, an option that would provide the company with tax benefits, and one examined by many in the pub sector at present.