Greene King sales remain on track

PUB and brewing group Greene King said yesterday that trading remained in line with expectations, despite the impact of the first winter of the Scottish smoking ban.

PUB and brewing group Greene King said yesterday that trading remained in line with expectations, despite the impact of the first winter of the Scottish smoking ban.

Bury St Edmunds-based Greene King said retails sales at its Belhaven business in Scotland were down by 2.8% for the 36 weeks to January 7 compared with the same period last year.

However, like-for-like sales at Pub Company, the group's managed house business in England which includes the Hungry Horse and Old English Inns brands, were up 3.4% and like-for-like turnover at Pub Partners, the leased and tenanted division, was up 1.3%.

The Brewing Company's own-brewed volume, which includes brands such as Greene King IPA, Abbot Ale and Old Speckled Hen, was in line with last year and total beer sales growth remained strong, the group added.


You may also want to watch:


Greene King said the sales performance at Belhaven was better than expected at the time it acquired the business in the summer of 2005.

“In this first winter of the Scottish smoking ban, high street pubs, and those with outside areas, have continued to do well; food has grown strongly, whilst liquor sales are down,” said the group in a trading update.

Most Read

“Overall, Belhaven retail sales were 2.8% below last year, which remains better than our estimates at the time of the acquisition. Belhaven Best volume was up 4.7%,” it added.

Greene King, which last month sold 155 low-performing pubs to Admiral Taverns in a deal worth £56million, owns around 300 pubs in Scotland out of a group total of about 2,500.

Some analysts questioned the wisdom of the Belhaven deal at the time, warning that sales could come under pressure this winter, but those concerns have so far proved largely unfounded.

The experience of adapting to Scotland's ban on smoking in public buildings, which was introduced last March, is also expected to prove valuable to Greene King when similar bans come into force in Wales and England later this year.

The trading update from Greene King - which added that integration of the Nottinghamshire-based Hardys & Hansons business acquired in September was now complete with cost savings on track - is in line with similar statements last week from rival Marston's (formerly Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries) and pub operator Punch Taverns.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus