GREENE King has announced it has made a strong start to the year with its sales continuing to grow.
The pubs and brewery giant based in Bury St Edmunds held its annual meeting on Tuesday September 6 and released details of its trading for the first 18 weeks of its financial year up to Sunday September 4.
Its largest and fastest growing division, Greene King Retail saw like for like sales go up 2.6 per cent – while during the past 10 weeks that growth has accelerated to 4.3 per cent.
Chief executive Rooney Anand, in the company’s interim management statement, said the results still showed a strong performance despite the fact that they are being compared against last year’s results, which were dented by England’s early World Cup exit.
The results also showed that the company’s focus on food is continuing to see sales rise – up 4.2 per cent.
Cloverleaf and Realpubs, bought by Greene King are trading strongly, while the firm expects its yearly results to be boosted by the capture of Capital Pub Company.
Like for like earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) in Pub Partners was down one per cent although Greene King said its core estate is ahead of last year.
Its Brewing and Brands business saw own brewed volume up five per cent in the last 10 weeks – against the backdrop of an 8 per cent fall in the UK ale market.
“All our category-leading core brands are outperforming their categories with Old Speckled Hen performing particularly well,” the company statement said.
The firm said that although it is confident of maintaing growth, falling disposable income and rising unemployment may make the market challenging.