Bank cheers Greene King yule success

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GREENE King Retail was a top Christmas performer, according to one of the world’s leading banks.

Figures from Greene King on Tuesday showed that in the seven weeks to January 15, Greene King Retail, the group’s largest business, saw like-for-like (LFL) sales up 8.2 per cent, a 4.7 per cent growth in the year-to-date.

That day, in a briefing to investors, Deustche Bank said: “These are the strongest set of LFLs from any mainstream retailer over the holiday period.”

Green King said its food LFL sales during the seven weeks were up 11.1 per cent bringing the year to date sales up 6.3 per cent.

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.

“Supported by better weather than the previous year, we saw record Christmas bookings and our like-for-like sales in Christmas week were up 17 per cent.

“Food sales were £1.7 million on Christmas Day alone, and we sold 365,000 Christmas meals in December, another record.”

Green King says Pub Partners continues to do well. In the last eight weeks, average earnings per pub before tax rose 5.9 per cent.

Its own beer brands saw sales up 7.4 per cent over the seven weeks with the year to date up 2.9 per cent when the UK ale market dropped 6.1 per cent.

n On Tuesday, the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group checked Greene King brews at a Commons tasting. Bury MP David Ruffley said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate to Parliament how our local industry is world beating.”