Greene King reports profit boost

Pub owners Greene King toasted higher profits, claiming a wide-range of promotions has helped it to pull in more customers.

Greene KingGreene King operates around 2,300 pubs, restaurants and hotels and reported a 4.3% rise in like-for-like sales in the 24 weeks to 12 October.

The company announced a 7% rise in pre-tax profits to £82.7 million and claimed it had boosted its share of the £41bn “informal dining market”.

Rooney Anand, Greene King’s chief executive officer, said: “Our team has delivered another strong trading performance driven by 17% profit growth in our retail division. We have continued to focus on providing excellent value, service and quality to our customers, while improving productivity and keeping tight control of costs. This has led to strong sales and profit growth, increased cashflow, improved returns and a stronger balance sheet.”

The group said that at its Hungry House pubs weekly offers account for 27% of all food sold and its loyalty programme, which is being trialled in 40 sites, now has more than 22,000 members. Carling has also been introduced as a value lager in Belhaven pubs, also owned by Greene King.

Anand added: “While we continue to see a challenging environment for the UK consumer, our strategy has been tailored for these conditions – we provide our customers with ‘everyday treats’ and value for money. We are confident we can generate further success and deliver sustainable earnings and dividend growth for our shareholders.”

The group also said wine and coffee were also important for growth and it saw a 22% rise in wine sales as it grew its offer, while hot beverage sales were up 8.3% in the 24-week period.

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