Summer boost expected for Greene King2nd September, 2013 by Andy Young
Pub giant Greene King is expected to reveal strong summer trading tomorrow after the heatwave saw a huge increase in the demand for lager and cider.
Greene King, which owns nearly 1,000 managed pubs across the UK, is predicted to report a pick up in sales growth thanks to the hot summer weather.
It posted a 3.3% rise in like-for-like sales in the initial eight weeks of the new financial year and analysts are predicting more than 5% growth over the first quarter.
Douglas Jack at Numis Securities told the Press Association: “We expect trading to be strong and ahead of our assumptions.”
But while Greene King’s pub chain will have benefited, its brewing business may not have seen any significant pick-up.
Jack added: “We do not expect any improvement in beer volumes as good weather tends to favour lager and cider, rather than real ale.”
Greene King’s beer brands include Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale, while the business also owns the Hungry Horse chain and Loch Fyne seafood restaurants.
It beat City forecasts with annual results for the year to April, with underlying pre-tax profits up 6.6% to £162 million as its focus on food sales continued to pay off.
But profits in the brewing business were 9.1% lower at £30 million due to supplier cost increases, declining volumes in the tenanted pub industry and a reduction in the number of Pub Partners’ sites.
The company has plans for 1,100 retail sites by 2015, although it continues to shrink its Pub Partners business, which features an estate of more than 1,200 leasehold pubs.