Greene King's trading statement for the 18 weeks to 1 September 2019, shows like-for-like sales were down 1.8% for the first 18 weeks, reflecting the tough comparatives of last year’s successful World Cup and good weather.
The results come as the UK's largest pub retailer and brewer prepares for a £2.7bn takeover by a firm run by Hong Kong’s wealthiest family, the real estate group, CKA.
On a two year basis, like-for-like sales for the first 18 weeks were up 1%.
Like-for-like sales growth of 1.5% was seen over the last seven weeks - on a two year basis, sales were up 2.4%.
LFL net income in Pub Partners was down 4.2% for the first 16 weeks, driven by softer LFL beer sales following last year’s comparatives.
In Brewing & Brands, total beer volumes were down 6.5% for the first 18 weeks and own-brewed volumes were down 7.9%.
The company stated it remained on track with its disposal programme - although it's not said if the fall in sales has ramped this up - and expect to dispose of 85-95 pubs this year, generating disposal proceeds of £45-55m, from which it will fund the opening of eight new pubs.
Greene King is on track with its cost mitigation programme and expect to limit net inflation this financial year to £10-20m. It also continues to make progress on its refinancing programme and in June the group prepaid the remaining £93m Spirit A4 bonds.
On 19 August 2019, Greene King announced a recommended cash acquisition for the company by CK Noble (UK) Limited. Under the terms of the acquisition, each Greene King shareholder will be entitled to receive 850 pence in cash.