News

Record Christmas Performance

17 January, 2012

Greene King announces its Interim Management Statement for the 37 weeks to 15 January 2012.

• Retail like-for-like sales up 8.2% and food like-for-like sales up 11.1%, last seven weeks
• Average EBITDA per pub in Pub Partners up 5.9%, last eight weeks
• Core brand own-brewed volumes up 7.4%, last seven weeks

Rooney Anand, Chief Executive, said: “This was another strong performance driven by the strength of our business and our continued commitment to providing unrivalled value, service and quality to our customers.

It is clear that even in these difficult times, customers still look for enjoyment and some respite from the financial pressures they are facing. Across the UK, the pub becomes the real heart of the community during Christmas. Supported by better weather conditions than in the previous year, we saw record Christmas bookings and our like-for-like sales in Christmas week were up 17%. Food sales were £1.7m on Christmas Day alone, and we sold 365,000 Christmas meals in December, another record for Greene King.”

TRADING

Greene King Retail, our largest and fastest growing business, saw like-for-like (LFL) sales up 8.2% in the last seven weeks, delivering 4.7% growth in the year-to-date. All major sales categories achieved strong growth in the period with food LFL sales up 11.1%, driving further growth in food’s share of Retail sales. In the year-to-date, food LFL sales are up 6.3%. Our three acquisitions in 2011 – Cloverleaf Restaurants, Realpubs and Capital Pub Company – have all traded very well over Christmas, and we have made further progress on our Retail expansion strategy with a further six new sites added.

We continue to expect that full year margins in Greene King Retail will be in line with the previous financial year.

Pub Partners continues to perform well. In the last eight weeks, average EBITDA per pub was up 5.9%, delivering 3.4% growth in the first 36 weeks of the financial year. LFL EBITDA is down 0.4% after 36 weeks with LFL EBITDA in our core estate ahead of last year. There are 23 Meet & Eat franchised sites in Pub Partners and we expect around 40 sites to be open by the end of the financial year. Since the half year, we have made a further 21 non-core pub disposals from Pub Partners.

In Brewing & Brands over the last seven weeks, core brand own-brewed volume was up 7.4%, with year-to-date volume growth now at 2.9%. This compares to the UK ale market, in the five months to November, down 6.1%. Within our portfolio of category leading ale brands, Old Speckled Hen, the UK’s no.1 premium ale brand, and Belhaven Best, Scotland’s no.1 ale brand, have grown particularly strongly.

Overall, our profit, cashflow and balance sheet remain in line with our expectations.

OUTLOOK

Although we expect another difficult environment for the UK consumer in 2012, we remain confident that we will continue to deliver growth and value to our shareholders, driven by the strength of business, our Retail expansion strategy and our focus on offering unrivalled value, service and quality to our customers.

For further information:
 

Greene King plc     Tel: 01284 763222
Rooney Anand, chief executive
Matthew Fearn, group finance director

Capital MSL     Tel: 0207 307 5330
Steffan Williams
Richard Campbell

NOTES FOR EDITORS

 Greene King operates c.2400 pubs, restaurants and hotels across England, Wales and Scotland, of which c.950 are in our largest and fastest growing business, Retail. Its leading retail brands are Hungry Horse, Old English Inns, Loch Fyne Restaurants and Eating Inn.

 Greene King also brews Greene King IPA, the no.1 cask ale in the UK, Old Speckled Hen, the no.1 premium ale in the UK, Abbot Ale, the no.1 premium cask ale in the UK and Belhaven Best, the no.1 ale brand in Scotland.


 

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