By Ben Simmons

Spirit Pub Company has posted a solid quarter growth, far in excess of the market average at a time of widespread pub closures.

Like-for-like sales were up 4.6% and the pub giant, part of the UK’s largest pubco, Punch Taverns, invested in a further 156 pubs nationwide.

“We are pleased to report another strong quarter of growth, driven by a market-leading performance in our managed estate,” said the group’s chief exec, Mike Tye. “Guests have continued to respond enthusiastically as we innovate, introduce food to more of our traditionally drink-led pubs and pursue operational improvements throughout the estate.

“Our strategy of investing in brands has proven successful, with three of our brand refurbishments now largely complete. Our focus is now turning to the Flaming Grill, John Barras and Original Pub Company brands. While we are mindful of the ongoing economic uncertainty and consumer pressures, we remain on track to deliver our full year expectations.”