By Max Clarke

British pub giant, Punch Taverns, posted combined EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) of £206 million, down from £225 million in the previous quarter.

Profits for the operator of some 6,000 bars and pubs slid by £5 million to reach £61 million. An increase in alcohol duty during the 2011 budget, combined with diminishing household disposable income and high inflation are all having their effect on the British consumer, contributing to the slight drop in the pub giant’s profits.

“We are pleased that our operational initiatives continue to translate into improved performance within both the Managed and Leased businesses,” commented Ian Dyson, the Group’s chief executive.

“Despite the challenging UK consumer environment, we remain confident of making further progress in the second half of the financial year. We have had a good start to the third quarter and are on track to meet our full year expectations.

“This strong trading momentum provides a solid platform for the proposed demerger of Spirit, on which we are making good progress. We are pleased to announce that Walker Boyd will join the Board and become the Chairman of Spirit on demerger and we have confirmed the key executive appointments within both businesses.”