Belfast Telegraph

Greene King toasts England World Cup run

The pubs chain sold a total of 3.7 million pints of beer during England’s seven matches.

Greene King saw sales boosted by warm weather and the World Cup over the summer, with England football fans sinking more than 3 million pints while watching Gareth Southgate’s men reach the semi-finals.

The pubs chain pointed to “positive momentum” as it booked a 2.8% increase in like-for-like sales in the 18 weeks to September 2.

Growth over the last 10 weeks stood at 3.2%.

Greene King’s branded local pubs traded particularly well, with comparable sales up 5.5%, driven by fans boozing it up during England’s impressive World Cup run.

A total of 3.7 million pints of beer were sold during the team’s seven matches in the tournament, and like-for-like sales on the day of the semi-final were up 61%.

The firm said: “This strong performance was underpinned by the ongoing benefits from our sales driving investment to further improve our value, service and quality, and boosted by the weather and a successful World Cup.”

The results will come as welcome relief for the pubs group, which recently posted a slump in profits amid “unprecedented” cost rises.

It again blamed cost pressures for like-for-like sales falling 0.4% at Greene King’s pub partners unit.

We continue to focus on profitably driving top-line growth, developing a more streamlined and efficient organisation and further strengthening our capital structure to deliver long-term value creation for our shareholders Greene King

The firm said its “cost mitigation programme” is helping to offset cost inflation of £45 million to £50 million, adding that it is making good progress with a refinancing programme, which will reduce the cost of debt.

Total beer volumes in Brewing & Brands were up 4% and own-brewed volumes were up 0.3%.

Greene King remains on course to dispose of 100-110 pubs this year and will open around nine new outlets.

“We continue to focus on profitably driving top-line growth, developing a more streamlined and efficient organisation and further strengthening our capital structure to deliver long-term value creation for our shareholders,” the company said.

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