and restaurant group Greene King has served up a heartening sales uplift over the past four months, saying sales in its food-focused chains were higher than last year despite the benefit of the World Cup in 2010.
Greene King, which runs retail brands Loch Fyne and Hungry Horse among others, said its retail division had seen like for like sales grow 2.6 per cent since the end of April, but growth had accelerated to 4.3 per cent in the ten weeks from 20 June.
Its brewing company saw core brand sales rise 1.8 per cent since April and increase by five per cent in the past ten weeks alone, bucking the industry trend for a decline in ale sales, Greene King said.
But it warned that the strain on UK consumers remained a threat.
“The trading outlook remains uncertain as UK consumers are having to cope with rising costs, falling disposable income and the prospect of increased unemployment,” it said in a statement.
“Overall, however, we are confident that our retail expansion strategy…will enable us to deliver growth.”
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in its tenanted pub estate, Pub Partners, had fallen one per cent on a like for like basis but average earnings per pub were up 2.4 per cent.
Greene King said the tenanted pub result, which has proved a challenging area across the industry since the recession, was better than a year ago.
The company added that its recent takeovers of Real Pubs and Cloverleaf were bringing benefits by trading strongly and it was starting the process of integrating its latest acquisition, Capital Pub Company.