Greene King hails increased profits

PUBS and brewing group Greene King today served up increased annual sales and pre-tax profits, despite “an uncertain and challenging” trading environment.

The Bury St Edmunds-based company generated record turnover of �984.1million during the 52 weeks to May 2, up 3.1% on the previous year’s total of �954.6m.

And pre-tax profits, excluding exceptional one-off factors, grew by 3.8%, from �118.5m to �123.0m.

Greene King’s managed pub estate achieved like-for-like sales growth of 3.5% over the year, with margins being maintained during the second half.

Trading within its leased and tenanted estate stabilised, with a stronger second half seeing an increase in earnings per pub.

The Bury-based brewing business, responsible for beers such as Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale continued to out-perform the overall market, with volume growth of 3.6%.

And Belhaven, the group’s integrated pubs and brewing business in Scotland, had a record year with growth in both retail sales and beer volumes.

Most Read

Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand said: “These results highlight the strength, agility and resilience of Greene King.

“We have delivered record revenue in an uncertain and challenging environment, making good progress in all of our businesses. We have generated incremental cash after reducing our debt, paying healthy dividends to our shareholders and funding increased investment in our estate.

“We have also had an encouraging start to the new financial year with trading to date better than we were expecting,” said Mr Anand.

“Over the last year, we have built on the strengths of the business, in particular through successful investment in both new and existing pubs. We are today announcing plans to accelerate the pace of change and growth towards a more retail and branded focus.

“We plan to grow our branded, food-led, managed estate by a quarter, create a smaller, more customer focused tenanted business and provide additional investment to our leading beer brands.

“This strategy will generate faster, profitable sales growth and increase our exposure to the long-term growth of the eating out market,” he added.