Greene King enjoys profits boost

SUFFOLK brewing giant Greene King has seen profits grow, bouncing back from decline in July.

Will Clarke

SUFFOLK brewing giant Greene King has seen profits grow, bouncing back from decline in July.

The Bury St Edmunds brewer has said sites selling food continued to perform strongly as it battled against challenging trading conditions.

The group's retail arm reported like-for-like sales growth of 1.6% in the 16 weeks to August 24, compared with the 2.8% decline seen in July.

Greene King said its Hungry Horse chain was seeing good growth, whilst the Loch Fyne restaurants acquired last year were “performing well”.

The company told shareholders ahead of its annual meeting: “Despite the current trading challenges and lacklustre outlook for the UK economy, the board anticipates meeting its expectations for the year.”

Most Read

In the company's tenanted estate, like-for-like profits were down 1.7% for the 16 weeks, compared with an unchanged performance seen in July. The company added that an increasing level of support was being provided for licensees.

Sales in its brewing division, which includes the brands Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale, were down 3% but the company said this was a strong performance given double-digit declines in the on-trade beer market.

Meanwhile, Greene King's Scottish brewing business Belhaven continues to perform ahead of expectations with like-for-like sales in its managed pub estate up 4.6% on a year earlier.

The brewer, which has around 1,800 managed and tenanted pubs across the UK, recently reported pre-tax profits of £142 million for the 53 weeks to May 3, up 2% from the prior year.

In today's trading update the company described its business model as “robust and resilient” and said strong cash flows allowed continued investment in growth areas such as food, accommodation and premium ale.

It added: “In the value for money segment of the market, Hungry Horse is in good growth, whilst at a more premium position both Loch Fyne and the Inns division are performing well.”

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