Strong Trading Continues Into Fourth Quarter
23 April, 2012
Greene King announces its pre-close trading update for the 50 weeks to 15 April 2012. Its preliminary results for the 52 weeks to 29 April 2012 will be announced on 28 June 2012.
• Retail like-for-like (LFL) sales up 4.6% and up 4.5% in the last thirteen weeks
• Food LFL sales in Retail up 6.3% and up 6.7% in the last thirteen weeks
• Average EBITDA per pub in Pub Partners up 3.8% after 48 weeks
• Core brand own-brewed volumes up 0.8%
Rooney Anand, Chief Executive, said: “Our strong trading momentum continued through the final quarter of our financial year, with particularly good growth in our key business, Greene King Retail. Our focus on delivering unrivalled value, service and quality to our customers continues to drive our growth.
Following a record Christmas, we achieved very strong LFL sales growth on Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day. On Mother’s Day, we sold 220,000 meals, up 16% on the previous year, with wine sales up 18%. Easter sales this year, despite more mixed weather, were in line with Easter last year.
Our success at big events and our performance in London, where LFL sales are up 6.7%, bode well for the upcoming summer as we are well placed to benefit from the Diamond Jubilee, Euro 2012 and the Olympics.”
Greene King Retail continues to achieve strong growth and performed well in the last quarter of our financial year. After 50 weeks, like-for-like sales growth was 4.6% after 4.5% growth in the last thirteen weeks. March was very strong, helped by the warmer weather, while February was in line with the previous year, despite tough comparatives.
Our focus on, and investment in, growing our exposure to the eating out market continues to generate good growth in food sales. Food LFL sales growth was 6.3% after 50 weeks and 6.7% in the last thirteen weeks. Recent performance has been helped by the launch, ahead of Easter, of our new spring menus across a number of our retail brands and formats.
Our retail expansion strategy is on track with 37 new sites acquired or developed in the year so far, while Hungry Horse, our leading retail brand, has grown to 180 sites across the UK.
After 48 weeks, average EBITDA per pub in Pub Partners, our tenanted, franchised and leased business, was up 3.8%. LFL EBITDA was –0.1% with core estate LFL EBITDA at +0.5%. We continue to make strategic progress in Pub Partners: there have been 97 non-core disposals in the year so far while Pub Partners now directly influences the retail offer in over 200 sites via our growing franchised estate and other consumer-facing initiatives.
In Brewing & Brands, our industry-leading core ale brand portfolio has maintained its market outperformance. In a UK ale market down 4.5%*, core brand own-brewed volumes were up 0.8% after 50 weeks. Towards the end of the period, we relaunched Greene King IPA, the UK’s no. 1 cask ale brand, backed up by marketing support of £4m, including new TV advertising. As part of the relaunch, we also introduced two new beers: Greene King IPA Gold and Greene King IPA Reserve.
Overall, our profit, cashflow and balance sheet remain in line with our expectations.
*BBPA, May 2011 to March 2012 vs comparative period
For further information:
Greene King plc Rooney Anand, chief executive officer
Matthew Fearn, group finance director Tel: 01284 763222
Capital MSL Steffan Williams
Tel: 0207 307 5330
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Greene King operates c. 2400 pubs, restaurants and hotels across England, Wales and Scotland, of which c. 950 are in the 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.