Greene King buys Cloverleaf

 
City A.M. Reporter
Greene King has bought carvery and pub chain Cloverleaf Restaurants for £56m.

Cloverleaf has 12 sites in the Midlands and the north of England with plans for 10 more.

Meanwhile Suffolk-based Greene King said sales from outlets open more than a year in its largest unit, Retail, rose 3.9 per cent in the 38 weeks to 23 January.

Like-for-like food sales jumped 8.2 per cent, lifted by sales at its pub restaurant brand Hungry Horse.

Greene King, whose other chains include Old English Inns and Loch Fyne Restaurants, has focussed on value and higher margin food sales since 2008 helping it outperform competitors who have struggled in torrid trading conditions.

As a result, full-year margins at its retail business will to be slightly ahead of last year, the company said, but echoed its peers in noting caution on the outlook.

"The short-term outlook for the consumer is unclear, but we are confident we will... meet our expectations for the financial year" it added. Greene King said volumes were down 3.3 per cent in own-brewed ale volumes."