Greene King reports ‘strong growth’ in first half of year

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Greene King has recorded ‘strong growth’ and ‘attractive returns’ in the first half of the financial year, it was announced this week.

Yesterday, the pub retailer and brewer based in Bury St Edmunds released its interim results for the 24 weeks to October 13.

They describe its tenanted and brewing businesses as having ‘performed well’ and its retail business as having led growth, with profits up eight per cent on last year.

It has expanded its retail sites to 1,100 and acquired or transferred in 22 sites to take its estate to 1,008 pubs, restaurants and hotels.

It also increased its volume share of the UK ale market to 10.8 per cent and ‘disposed’ of 59 ‘non-core’ sites from its Pub Partners estate.

This is in line with its five-year strategy to improve growth, which is now in its fourth year.

Chief executive Rooney Anand said: “Although the economy is showing increasingly positive signs of picking up, we remain cautious given the ongoing weakness in real disposable income for our customers and the competitive nature of our markets.

“However, we are confident that we have the right strategy for current conditions and expect to open around 20 new-build sites in the second half of the year.

“Looking ahead, we will continue to tailor our strategy to maximise opportunities as and when conditions improve. As a result, we are confident we can continue to provide sustainable earnings and dividend growth, and improving returns, to our shareholders.”

Greene King’s successful momentum looks set to continue with reports that its Christmas bookings are ahead of last year by 13 per cent.