Greene King sees LFL sales ahead of market

Greene King has reported preliminary results for the 52 weeks to 28 April 2019, showing profit growth through strong like-for-like (LFL) sales and ongoing cost mitigation programme.

While the group saw revenue rise by 1.8% to £2,216.9m, operating profit was 1.3% lower on account of £14m of cost inflation.

For the Pub Company managed estate, revenue rose by 1.8% to £1.8bn. Like for like sales rose by 2.9%, ahead of the market, which offset a 2.5% drop in pubs openings. With costs increasing proportionately, operating profits also rose 1.8%, to £272.9m.

During the period, 11 pubs were transferred from Pub Company to the tenanted and leased Pub Partners business, and another site was acquired. The number of pubs within Pub Partners fell 5% as the group sold off 70 non-core pubs. Revenues dropped 2% as a result, and with costs rising, underlying operating profits fell 4.7% to £87.1m.

Brewing & Brands revenue rose 5.8% to £227.6m. Total beer volumes rose 0.9%, boosted by the good weather and a successful World Cup, ensuring market share continues to rise. However, higher costs and a reduced contribution from Greene King's own brands saw operating profit fall 10.7% to £27.4m.

Nick Mackenzie, chief executive, (pictured) said, “Greene King is a great business with a rich heritage, a high-quality estate, a strong portfolio of brands and 38,000 talented team members.

'Just two months into the job, I have been struck by the amazing pride and passion that our team members have for Greene King and I want to thank them for their continued dedication to providing great experiences for our customers and supporting local communities.

“The business delivered good results last year, regaining trading momentum in Pub Company and returning to market outperformance while fulfilling a strong cost mitigation programme and making further progress refinancing the Spirit debenture.

'The existing strategy we have in place has led the business through challenging times. I am looking forward to building on Greene King’s strong foundations with a focus on innovation, on developing our people and on customer service to further enhance our brands and deliver sustainable growth for our shareholders.”