Greene King beer sales fall ahead of £2.7 billion takeover by Hong Kong firm
Beer sales fell at pubs giant Greene King in its summer quarter as the company prepares for a £2.7 billion takeover by a firm run by Hong Kong’s wealthiest family.
In a trading statement ahead of its annual general meeting today (Friday, September 6), the Bury St Edmunds brewery said like for like sales for its Pub Company were down 1.8 per cent in its first quarter as it struggled to keep up with strong figures last year which were boosted by the football World Cup and good weather.
However, like for like sales grew 1.5 per cent in the last seven weeks and, on a two year basis, were up 2.4 per cent.
Net income in Pub Partners plunged by 4.2 per cent for the first 16 weeks due to ‘softer beer sales’.
In Brewing and Brands, total beer volumes dropped by 6.5 per cent for the first 18 weeks and own-brewed volumes plummeted by 7.9 per cent.
The company said it remains ‘on track’ with its disposal programme and expects to dispose of 85 to 95 pubs this year, generating disposal proceeds of £45 to £55 million, which it will use to open eight new pubs.
It added: “We are on track with our cost mitigation programme and expect to limit net inflation this financial year to £10 to £20 million.”
Last month it was announced that Hong Kong firm CK Noble, part of the CKA Group founded by Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-shing, had bid £2.7 billion to buy Greene King.
Directors have recommended the cash offer to shareholders.
Under the terms, each Greene King shareholder will receive £8.50 and a final dividend of 24.4 pence per share subject to shareholders approval today.