Peach Report

Greene King like-for-likes see 4.6% growth

23 April, 2012


Greene King has announced another set of strong trading figures, with like-for-like sales in its managed pubs and restaurant up 4.6% for the 50 weeks to 15 April 2012. Current trading was maintaining the same level of growth, the company added.

The pub operator and brewer said that like-for-like retail sales in the last 13 weeks were up 4.5%, with food lfls climbing 6.7% - with London performing particularly well. For the whole 50 week period food lfls were ahead 6.3%.

It also reported average EBITDA per pub in its Pub Partners tenanted and leased pub business up 3.8% after 48 weeks. Core brand own-brewed beers had also seen volumes up 0.8%.

Chief Executive Rooney Anand said: "Our strong trading momentum continued through the final quarter of our financial year, with particularly good growth in our key business, Greene King Retail. Our focus on delivering unrivalled value, service and quality to our customers continues to drive our growth."
 
Following a record Christmas, the business achieved strong LFL sales growth on Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and St. Patrick's Day, he added. "On Mother's Day, we sold 220,000 meals, up 16% on the previous year, with wine sales up 18%. Easter sales this year, despite more mixed weather, were in line with Easter last year," he said.
 
"Our success at big events and our performance in London, where LFL sales are up 6.7%, bode well for the upcoming summer as we are well placed to benefit from the Diamond Jubilee, Euro 2012 and the Olympics."

In Greene King Retail, March was very strong, helped by the warmer weather, while February was in line with the previous year, despite tough comparatives, the company said. See latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker results for March.
 
"Our focus on, and investment in, growing our exposure to the eating out market continues to generate good growth in food sales. Recent performance has been helped by the launch, ahead of Easter, of our new spring menus across a number of our retail brands and formats," Anand said.
 
The company's retail expansion strategy was on track with 37 new sites acquired or developed in the year so far, he said, while Hungry Horse, its leading retail brand, had grown to 180 sites across the UK.
 
After 48 weeks, average EBITDA per pub in Pub Partners, its tenanted, franchised and leased business, was up 3.8%, although like-for-like EBITDA was -0.1%. Greene King said it continued to make strategic progress in Pub Partners, with 97 non-core disposals in the year so far.  
 
Its core ale brand portfolio had maintained its market outperformance, he said. In a UK ale market down 4.5%, core brand own-brewed volumes were up 0.8% after 50 weeks. Towards the end of the period, the company relaunched Greene King IPA, backed up by marketing support of £4m, including new TV advertising.

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