Greene King posts positive interim results

Greene King has reported interim results for the 24 weeks to 14 October 2018, showing group revenue at £1,051.2m, up 1.9%. Adjusted profit before tax stood at £128.2m, up 0.2%, and statutory profit before tax was £127.7m, up 3.2%.

Pub Company like-for-like (LFL) sales were up by 2.7%, ahead of the market by 1.1%. The firm said this uplift was driven by the ongoing benefits from our investment in value, service and quality (VSQ), our strategic focus on four core brands, and boosted by good weather and the World Cup.

Pub Partners LFL net income was up and Brewing & Brands revenue increased by 7.5%.

Disposal proceeds funded new builds, which helped to grow the average weekly take in Pub Company by 7.9% over the last three years.

For current trading, LFL sales in the Pub Company are up 2.9% at week 30; Pub Partners and Brewing & Brands performing are in line with expectations. Also, Christmas bookings are well ahead of last year.

The company remains on track to limit full year net cost inflation to £10-20m.

CEO Rooney Anand said, “We have seen continued positive momentum in Pub Company, which was sustained beyond the boost of the World Cup and the summer weather. The hard work of our teams, combined with the investments we made to improve our customer experience, is driving sales outperformance to the market.

'We remain highly cash generative, meeting our debt repayment requirements, investing in our pubs and paying an attractive, sustainable dividend out of operating free cashflow. Good progress was made refinancing the Spirit debenture, which will reduce the cost of our debt and increase the strength and flexibility of our balance sheet.

“Looking forward, Christmas bookings are up on last year and we look forward to ensuring customers have a great time celebrating the festive season in our pubs. Ongoing uncertainty around Brexit may impact on consumer confidence, but as a team we are focused on our key strategic priorities and remain confident of our outlook for the financial year.”