Belfast Telegraph

Greene King sales hit by extreme weather

The last three months were impacted by the poor weather, particularly at food-led pubs.

Pub group Greene King has seen sales slump after the so-called “Beast from the East” hit trading, but the firm remains on track to meet full year profit expectations.

The company said that like-for-like sales in the 49 weeks to April 8 fell 1.8%, with the last three months impacted by the poor weather, particularly at its food-led pubs.

Greene King has previously also blamed falling consumer confidence, rising costs and intense competition for flagging sales.

Last year the pubs chain outlined a raft of challenges affecting the pub and brewing industry over the next few years, which it said were set to “intensify” amid weakened consumer confidence caused by surging inflation.

However, Greene King said that strong trading over Easter mitigated the impact, with comparable sales up 2.8% over the long weekend, helped by sporting events including football and boxing.

Drink and accommodation sales were ahead of last year on a like-for-like basis and it confirmed that full year pre-tax profit would be in line with expectations, within the range of £240 million to £245 million.

The firm also said that it was on track to deliver cost savings of £40 million to £45 million  and garner £120 million from the proceeds of disposals such as the sale of three high-value leasehold pubs.

Shares were up more than 8% to 504 in morning trading following the news.

Greg Johnson, travel and leisure analyst at Shore Capital, said: “Encouragingly, the statement highlights the £10 million of targeted investment is gaining traction and the repositioning of the estate continues with the exit of Fayre & Square by the end of the financial year and continued investment in the estate.

“Against tough comps Greene King appears to be seeing an improvement in trading and closing the underperformance with the wider market.”

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