Greene King says poor weather over the past 12 weeks has had an impact upon Pub Company like-for-like sales for the 49 weeks to April 8, which were down 1.8%.

But trading over Easter was strong, with sales up 2.8% against the Easter weekend last year, helped by strong sporting fixtures, especially football and boxing.

A spokesperson said: “We continue to reposition Pub Company to drive growth going forward. We will complete the exit from Fayre & Square by the financial year end, we opened nine new pubs over the year, and we invested core and brand conversion [capital expenditure] in 292 pubs.

“After 48 weeks, like-for-like net profit in Pub Partners was -0.3% while own-brewed volumes in Brewing and Brands were -0.7%, ahead of the UK ale market at -3.1%.

“We remain on track to deliver targeted cost savings of £40m to £45m. We will have spent circa £160m in the full year in ensuring our estate remains well invested, and our disposal proceeds are likely to be ahead of expectations at circa £120m, following the sale of three high-value leasehold pubs.

“As a result, we expect full-year profit before tax and exceptionals to be in the range of £240 to £245m. With our high-quality portfolio of pubs, excellent team, strong balance sheet and sustainable dividend, we remain well placed to withstand the external market challenges and deliver long-term value to our shareholders.”

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