Pub group Greene King enjoyed record revenue of £1.3bn in the year to the end of March, yet investors were warned not get too carried away as profit before tax fell 2.7 per cent to £168.5m.
The FTSE 250-listed company's retail revenue surpassed £1bn for the time, with its 5.9 per cent growth outperforming the wider market's 4.9 per cent increase. Retail like-for-like sales grew just 0.4 per cent due to a disappointing World Cup.
This year has marked the end of Green King's five-year expansion plan with the number of retail sites expanded by 19.4 per cent and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation up by 33 per cent.
Shares in Greene King opened 1.2 per cent higher this morning.
Why it's interesting
Profit was down after Greene King sold 314 "non-core" pubs in preparation for its recent £763m acquisition of the Spirit Pub Company, which brings 1,207 pubs under its control, making it the biggest directly managed pub group in the UK.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) granted the takeover regulatory approval, yet Greene King's rivals will face an uphill task to combat the growing giant. Greene King said it expects the deal to generate "at least £30m of cost synergies" and further opportunities for value creation.
What Greene King said
Chief executive Rooney Anand said:
We have completed a successful five-year strategic plan, surpassing our goals, as we delivered significant progress, changed the business mix and better positioned the company for the future.
We now enter another exciting new phase in the company's history, with the acquisition of Spirit. We warmly welcome Spirit's employees and its shareholders to Greene King. The acquisition will further strengthen our platform to deliver sustainable, long-term success for the benefit of our customers, our employees and our shareholders.
Greene King enjoyed a year of big revenues and retail sales figures - but expect to see further growth in both from the industry giant which now has a combined estate of 3,100 pubs, restaurants and hotels in the UK.