Falling sales announced by Greene King have been attributed to competition from cheaper products and poor weather during the summer.
Greene’s King’s trading statement for its Pub Company arm for the 18 weeks to September 3 showed like for like sales down 1.2 per cent.
The company states it remains ‘cautious’ about the trading environment and faces the challenge of weaker consumer confidence, increased costs and competition from value food which are expected to persist in the near term.
However it is hoping its acquisition of the Spirit Group and £45 million of cost savings this year will help counteract the weaker than expected sales performance.
In a statement released by the company it states: “We are strengthening our customer offer with both our net promoter scores and our food quality scores across Pub Company continuing to improve this year while our brand conversion programme is delivering returns in excess of 20 per cent.”
The Bury St Edmunds based company says that its two other businesses, Pub Partners and Brewing and Brands continue to deliver strong returns with like for like profit in Pub Partners up 1.4 per cent after 14 weeks.
Brewing and Brands own brewed volume while down -0.5 per cent measures well against the UK ale market which is down -2.9 per cent and the cask ale market down -7 per cent. These figures from the British Beer and Pub Association relate to three months to July 2017.
The company which at the end of April operated 2,924 pubs, restaurants and hotels in England, Wales and Scotland, had earlier warned of challenging trading ahead for the industry.
However it returned good figures for its yearly preliminary results up to April 2017 of a 6.6 per cent increase in profits.
It chief executive Rooney Anand said then that while he foresaw challenges for the industry intensifying over the next few years the company had a strong record of delivery in tough market conditions.