Shares in Punch Taverns were up on the FTSE 250 in morning trading after the pub owner reported a rise in sales in the third quarter ended 28 May.

Managed like for like sales of spirits rose 7.3 per cent, food sales climbed 8.4 per cent and drink sales increased 7.3 per cent.

The group saw a decline in leased like for like net income of 0.7 per cent.

The rise in spirit sales was attributed to good weather and company investment in its estate, which saw 160 pubs refurbished in the first three quarters of the group's financial year

Punch said that it had seen progress in all areas of its business and added that it was on track to meet full year expectations. Good progress was also made in the company's demerger plans.

Ian Dyson, Chief Executive Officer of Punch Taverns, said, "We are pleased that our operational initiatives continue to translate into improved performance for both Spirit and Punch. This has been achieved during a period of substantial change as we prepare for the proposed demerger of Spirit. Despite the challenging UK consumer environment we are on track to meet our full year expectations."

By 08:45 shares in Punch Taverns were up 3.56 per cent on the FTSE 250 to 72.70 pence per share.