Bury St Edmunds-based pub giant suffers Brexit headache

Greene King's IPA.
Greene King's IPA.
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Pub group Greene King has warned that Brexit has left it facing a tougher future.

The pub group and brewer in Westgate, Bury St Edmunds, says the referendum result in June has hit consumer confidence.

The alarm has been sounded as the 217-year-old company announced that sales had risen in the 18 weeks to September 4.

The company stated: “As expected, uncertainty surrounding the UK’s future withdrawal from the European Union has translated into a softening of some economic indicators and a reduction in consumer confidence.

“While the broader implications remain unclear, a number of recent industry surveys have flagged risks to leisure spend and we are alert to a potentially tougher trading environment ahead.”

Greene King says it remains confident of delivering another year of strategic and financial progress.

Ahead of its annual meeting today (Friday), the company reported that in the 18 weeks to September 4 it had seen a 1.7 per cent growth in like-for-like sales as customers enjoyed the European Football Championships and better weather. Growth was driven by its local pubs estate.

In its pub partners division, like-for-like net income was up 4.5 per cent after 16 weeks.

The firm stated it had continued to make strong progress with the integration of Spirit.

Greene King also announced it has appointed former Tesco veteran Gordon Fryett as a non-executive director who will join the board on December 1 this year.

Philip Yea, chairman of Greene King, said: “I am delighted that Gordon has agreed to join our board.

“His extensive experience of retail and property will undoubtedly add value to our decisions as we develop Greene King over the coming years.”