20 May 2009 – Morning Advertiser
Punch Taverns, Enterprise Inns, Marston’s, Greene King and Admiral Taverns all fared badly in a survey of 1,000 hosts by market research firm CGA for MPs on the Bec committee looking at the pubco/tenant relationship.
Research revealed there is no evidence that paying more for a lease means a higher income — 85% of licensees whose lease cost more than £100k earn less than £15k.
Some 90% of Marston’s licensees and 86% of Greene King licensees felt negatively about the tie — 20% above the average in the case of Marston’s. Some 86% of Greene King hosts were “dissatisfied” with their pubco.
Not a single host from Greene King, Enterprise, Marston’s or Admiral Taverns felt their pubco added “a lot” of value to them.
And 76% of Greene King licensees and 77% of Punch and Enterprise licensees believed their pubco adds no value at all. Some 82% of licensees did not believe that their rent takes into account the beer tie. More than 70% of licensees from the seven major pub companies said their pub was “struggling in terms of financial hardship”.
Marston’s — around 96% of respondents — and Admiral — just under 90%, show a higher proportion of struggling hosts. Overall, 60% blamed the cost of rent (19%) and the price of tied products (41%) as the key factors for their financial struggle.
Free-of-tie operator Wellington Pub Company achieved the best results in survey with 80% of its hosts saying they were “satisfied” or “fairly satisfied”. Scottish & Newcastle Pub Enterprises did better than average with 17% of licensees “fairly positive” or “very positive” about their relationship.
Punch licensees offered a much more even spread of reasons than hosts of their major rivals as to why they are struggling financially. The company also scored twice as well as Enterprise on whether licensees felt “positive” towards it.
CGA surveyed 1,000 licensees in February in a way that reflected the size of their pubco landlord. It spoke to 240 Enterprise licensees, 230 Punch licensees and smaller numbers from other pubcos — 80 Admiral Taverns hosts, 60 licensees from Marston’s and 50 from Greene King, 40 S&NPE and 30 from Wellington Pub Company.
Luff likes a bit of Welly
Morning Advertiser 20 May 2009
It wasn’t all bad news for tenanted pubcos in the damning Bec inquiry report last week. In fact, Chairman Peter Luff has taken a bit of a shine to theWellington free-of-tie estate run by Criterion Asset Management. He says: “It was striking how few problems we encountered with the free-of-tie pubco, Wellington”.