Greene King has reported its rading statement for the 36 weeks to 6 January 2019.
After 36 weeks of the group's financial year, Pub Company like-for-like (LFL) sales were up 3.2% following strong trading over the Christmas period as we continue to trade ahead of the market.
LFL sales in the last two weeks, covering Christmas and the New Year, were up 10.9% and we achieved record Christmas day sales of £7.7m. All sales categories saw LFL sales growth over the last six weeks with the Greene King-branded Local Pubs driving strong drink sales growth. Last year’s additional investment in Value, Service and Quality continues to underpin performance.
Pub Partners LFL net profit was down approximately 1% while total beer volumes in Brewing & Brands were up 1.8% and own-brewed volumes were down 2.3%.
Greene King's cost mitigation programme is on track to limit net cost inflation to £10-20m in the year while it has made further progress on its estate optimisation programme, remaining on course to dispose of 100-110 pubs and open around nine new pubs in the financial year.
Following the announcement in December of an open tender process on the remaining Spirit bonds, as part of the firm's ongoing debt refinancing programme, it has bought back £62m of the Spirit A5 bonds to date.
While the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit may still have an impact on consumer confidence and spending during the year, Green King remains confident of its outlook for the financial year.
The company remains focused on its strategic priorities of driving profitable sales growth, developing a more streamlined and efficient organisation, and further strengthening and improving the flexibility of our capital structure to deliver long-term value for its shareholders.