In the trading statement for the 40 weeks to 5 February 2017, Greene King achieved like-for-like sales (LFL) growth of 1.1%. LFL sales over the three Christmas weeks were up 4.5%, despite tough comparisons with the previous Christmas. Sales were driven by particularly strong growth in London. Breaking a previous record for Christmas Day with sales of £7.4m, up 6.0% on the previous year.
This increase has been attributed to strong pub growth in London. Last year, the company made 11 new pub acquisitions: six were Farmhouse Inns and five Hungry Horse.
It sold 59 pubs across both Pub Company and Pub Partners for total proceeds of £35m. Greene King anticipates disposing a further 50-60 pubs this year, raising proceeds of £30m-£40m.
Maintaining its strong performance, LFL net income in Pub Partners was up 3.5% after 40 weeks. Own-brewed volume in Brewing & Brands was down 4.2% as the cask ale market fell by 3.8%.
In the report, Greene King said: “Looking ahead, despite continued economic uncertainty and significant cost pressures, we will remain focused on building our retail pub brands, delivering great experiences to our guests and completing the Spirit integration. We are confident that the combined strength of our brands, pubs, people and cash generation leaves us well placed to deliver another year of progress, value creation and returns for our shareholders.”