Pubs group Ei brings cheer to investors

Britain’s biggest pub company announced a fresh £30m share buyback and promised to return 50% of future available cash flow to its shareholders.

Ei Group, formerly Enterprise Inns, has committed to return £85m this year, some of which will come from the proceeds of the £332.7m sale of its commercial property division.

Simon Townsend, 57, chief executive, played down suggestions that it might resume dividend payments, suspended a decade ago, but confirmed there would be regular cash returns, probably via buybacks.

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