Punch Taverns Plc. reported first half net income of $172 million, down 24% from a year ago. The largest U.K. pub landlord attributed the decline to the sale of outlets, a smoking ban that kept drinkers at home and slower consumer spending. CEO Giles Thorley said the company is still awaiting a decision from the U.K. government about the possibility of splitting its property into a REIT.

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