Greene King has announced its results, with reported revenue and operating profits down from 2017, however, trade is picking up quickly as punters flood pubs to watch the football and enjoy the sunshine.
The results revealed that group revenue was down 1.8% to £2.17bn, its Pub Company like-for-like sales were down slightly at -1.2%, whereas Pub Partners like-for-like new profit was up 0.4% and its Brewing and Brands revenue up by 7.4%.
Key figures from its results include its group EBITDA down 7.2%, the dividend per share remaining flat at 33.2p, adjusted profit before tax decreasing 11.2% to £243m and statutory profit before tax rising 6.8% to £197.5m.
Its profit reduction is linked to the sale of 295 pubs over the last three years.
In the last eight weeks, however, its Pub Company like-for-like sales have seen an increase of 2.2%, aided by good weather and sporting fixtures.
Rooney Anand, chief executive officer said: “We made good progress improving the performance of the business during the second half of the year, despite a challenging trading environment. Our investment to improve the customer experience in our pubs and the focus on our strategic priorities are beginning to pay off. Positive momentum, both in terms of trading and customer satisfaction, is returning to our business.
“While it is still early days, this positive momentum has continued into the new financial year, aided by good weather and popular sporting events. We remain focused on continuing to drive top line growth, developing a more efficient organisation and further strengthening our capital structure to deliver long-term value creation for our shareholders.
“We expect the trading environment to remain challenging for some time, but we strongly believe people will continue to choose the great British pub as the place to enjoy time with friends and family.”
Chairman Philip Yea’s statement remains positive for the future of Greene King’s trading:
“While trading this year was below our initial expectations, the board has recommended a final dividend of 24.4p, reflecting our confidence in the long-term prospects of the business,” he says.
“This takes the total dividend for the year to 33.2p, in line with last year. We have a long-term track record of covering our debt amortisation, core capital expenditure and dividend from our free cash flow and the board continues to target a dividend covered approximately two times by earnings.”