Ei Group - the UK's largest pubco, formerly known as Enterprise Inns - issued its interim results for the six months ended 31 March on Tuesday, reporting further growth in its net asset value to £3.26 per share, from £3.01 per share a year ago.
The London-listed firm said underlying EBITDA fell slightly to £139m, from £140m a year ago, which it said was in line with expectations and reflecting the impact of planned disposals.
Underlying profit before tax was £57m -flat year-on-year - as interest savings from reduced debt offset the reduction in EBITDA.
Ei's statutory profit after tax grew to £37m from £10m, after charging non-underlying finance costs of £1m.
Basic earnings per share were up to 7.9p from 2.1p which, adjusting for non-underlying items, delivered underlying earnings per share of 9.8p, compared to 9.6p a year ago.
The company completed a £20m share buyback programme during the period, with the purchase and cancellation of 15 million shares
at an average price of £1.32.
"We set out our strategic plan in 2015, and we have made strong progress," said chief executive Simon Townsend.
"As we look to 2020 and beyond, our strategy continues to evolve, reflecting our successes to date, changes in the marketplace and our continuing drive to unlock embedded value within our estate.
"However, the core tenets of our strategy remain unchanged in that we aim to optimise the returns delivered from each of our assets by ensuring they trade in their optimal format and operating model."
Townsend said Ei was "pleased" to have maintained growth momentum in its leased and tenanted estate during the first half of the year, despite challenging trading conditions for the sector as a whole, with inflationary pressures and some fragility in consumer spending compounded by particularly poor weather towards the end of the period.
"To have achieved overall growth in net income despite these headwinds underlines the benefits of our flexible business model and gives us confidence that we are on track to deliver positive like-for-like net income growth in our leased and tenanted business for the full year."
He also explained that the company's managed operations continued to trade well, with good returns achieved upon conversion, and the board expected the financial contribution from such conversions to increase in the coming years, delivering long-term incremental value to the group.
"Our managed investments and commercial properties businesses are successfully building the value-enhancing characteristics of portfolio quality and scale, consistent with our objective to monetise their value over time.
"The continued positive trading momentum and cash generation of the business enabled us to complete a £20 million share buyback programme during the first half of the year, demonstrating our commitment to deliver returns to shareholders when appropriate and to drive long-term growth in shareholder value."