Greene King's share prices bubbles up on sales rise after it shots a Spirit

Billy Bambrough
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Oktoberfest 2011 - Day 2
Greene King has pulled in more punters in the last nine months as people dine out over a pint (Source: Getty)

Greene King, the FTSE 250 listed pub operator and brewer, has served up a rise in sales for the nine months to 7 February as pub goers continue to dine out while having a pint.

The brewer, having gobbled up rival operator Spirit last year for £774m, said that Christmas sales had been particularly strong, up over five per cent for the period. The festive boost raised growth from the two per cent reported in October.

Greene King’s share price has climbed by over three per cent in trading this morning.

10 February 2016 @ 12:45pmGreene King (GNK)

"Our focus remains on the development and continuous enhancement of our core Greene King business while successfully integrating Spirit, to create the UK's leading pub company," said chief executive Rooney Anand.

Spirit managed pubs and restaurants managed a 1.1 per cent rise in sales for the period, down on the 1.2 per cent growth recorded in the first half.

Christmas day itself set a record for the company, bringing in £6.8m on Christmas Day, pushed higher by food sales. The firm revealed that on New Year’s eve a record 4,447 drinks per minute were sold in the last hour of 2015.

Read more: Greene King boss Rooney Anand joins Morrisons' board

Earlier this month Greene King announced that chairman Tim Bridge will be retiring on 1 May 2016, and Philip Yea has been lined up as his successor.

"Greene King has a great track record of dividend growth and the Spirit deal appears to be sowing the seeds for this to continue a while longer," Hargreaves Lansdown's head of equity research Steve Clayton said.

Greene King become Britain's largest pub and restaurant chain company when it swallowed Spirit Pubs in 2015.

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