Brewer Greene King raises glass to solid sales

Madeline Ratcliffe
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PUB OPERATOR and brewer Greene King said yesterday that it recorded solid sales growth in the first 18 weeks of the year.

Like-for-like sales in Greene King Retail grew by 1.3 per cent with growth of 1.9 per cent in the last 10 weeks.

The company said when excluding the continued impact of stricter drink-driving regulations in Scotland like-for-like sales were up 1.8 per cent in the first 18 weeks, and up 2.4 per cent in the last 10 weeks.

Like-for-like sales in the Spirit Pub Company, which Greene King was given the go-ahead to takeover in June in a £774m deal, were up 0.8 per cent over the 18-week period.

Net income in the new division was up 1.1 per cent over the first 16 weeks of the year.

The brewer of the Old Speckled Hen beer and Abbot Ale said although it is still early in the process, the integration of Spirit managed estate is going well and it remains confident of generating at least £30m of cost savings.

The company also announced it had exchanged contracts on all 16 of the pubs the Competition and Markets Authority required it to sell in order to approve the deal on 28 August, and expects completion in early October.

Sales volume of Greene King’s own-brewed brands grew 1.7 per cent in the first 18 weeks of the year with solid growth seen from Old Speckled Hen, Greene King IPA and Abbot Ale, despite strong revenue comparatives due to the World Cup last year.

Shares in the Suffolk-based company closed up 1.97 per cent yesterday.