The UK's largest pub firm sought to put the disruption of severe flooding behind it as it announced a 15 per cent rise in annual earnings.
Staffordshire-based Punch Taverns, which operates more than 8,400 pubs across the country, including 600 in the Midlands, said trading at its pubs had been hit by "unprecedented poor weather and flooding".
The company has a large concentration of its pubs in the south and Midlands, which were deluged with downpours during summer months.
Punch warned in September that the wet summer would knock up to three per cent off its annual profits haul.
Deborah Kemp, executive director of Punch, said: "The wet summer did affect us and we did see slower growth in the second half of the year.
"But only 100 pubs were directly affected by the floods, out of the 8,000 or so we have. That is one of the advantages of our geographical spread."
Punch said the uninsured cost of the flood-ing, including repairs and lost earnings, was estimated at "below £1 million". It said insurance claims had been made in relation to 140 leased and 25 managed pubs affected by the flooding.
Announcing pre-tax profits of £282 million for the year to August 18, Punch said it was now optimistic over future trading.
Chief executive Giles Thorley said: "We are pleased to have once again delivered a strong set of results despite the challenges of the last quarter of the year.
"Whilst the sector is experiencing a degree of uncertainty and is not without its short-term challenges, we remain confident about the long-term prospects for the business."
Group revenues o ver the year increased 10 per cent to £1.71 billion, with like-forlike sales at its 7,561-strong leased business up 2.7 per cent while like-for sales at its managed estate rose 3.5 per cent.
Average profit per pub rose 11 per cent at its leased arm and was up 15 per cent at its managed division.
Punch said it had invested £202 million in improving 1,500 pubs during the financial year, with much of the spending focused on preparing sites ahead of the smoking bans introduced in England and Wales.
This figure was set to continue this year, and was helping it attract new customers.
The group said it was still too early to assess the impact of the bans but believes it will ultimately have a positive long term effect.
During the year Punch, which employs 1,000 people at Burton, spent £202 million, with a similar amount earmarked for renovations this year.
Part of the spend went on improving external areas so the company was prepared for the smoking ban when it was introduced this summer.
"It is too early to see how the smoking ban will affect us. But I think it will benefit us in the long run," said Ms Kemp.
"In Ireland there was a slight downturn at first, but within a year the market had grown."
Sales of food improved enormously as well, said Ms Kemp, with Punch moving away from 'ping' microwave food.
"Food is becoming increasing important and appealing to the over 55 market who traditionally wouldn't have used pubs.
"We seeing a substantial growth in this section, older people who have disposable income who come to eat and drink."
Shares closed up 25.5p at 928.5p.