Trust Inns coughs up £1m dividend amid lockdown fear

Trust Inns made £5.6m profit for the year ending March 31, down from £7.3m over the same time the previous period

Pub chain Trust Inns paid out a £1m dividend during the year ending March 31, but has warned of the risks to the chain of a second lockdown.

Owned by the Preston North End owner Trevor Hemmings, Trust Inns has more than 350 tenanted pubs across the UK.

Profits fell from £7.3m to £5.6m for the year ending March 31, on turnover which fell from £41m to £39m.  The dividend payment relates to 2019 trading. 

All of the company’s pubs were closed under the lockdown which started in March 27, but bosses said more than 90pc of its pubs had resumed trading.

In accounts filed at Companies House last week, they said lenders had removed financial covenants at each testing date up to March 2021, but warned that a second national lockdown could cause it to breach financial covenants in June 2021, for which no waiver had been obtained.

Bosses said there was “no reason to believe” lenders would not provide further waivers, but the situation nonetheless created a “material uncertainly that may cast significant doubt on the company’s ability to continue as a going concern”.