Greene King cautious as pub food boosts its sales

 
City A.M. Reporter
BRITISH pubs and brewery group Greene King said higher demand for pub food helped it partly offset the impact of cost inflation and lower consumer morale in the 18 weeks to 4 September, and reported a rise in like-for-like sales.

“The trading outlook remains uncertain as UK consumers are having to cope with rising costs, falling disposable income and the prospect of increased unemployment,” the company said in a statement yesterday.

The 212-year-old Suffolk-based firm, which runs pubs such as Hungry Horse, Old English Inns and Bellhaven, posted a 4.2 per cent rise in like-for-like sales, while sales at the retail division – its largest and fastest growing division – grew 2.6 per cent.

Greene King said margins and profit remained in line with its expectations and both its acquisitions this year, Cloverleaf and Realpubs, were trading strongly.

The company also recently bought smaller rival Capital Pub Company for £70m, trumping a £54m offer from rival Fuller, Smith & Turner.

Greene King shares, which have fallen 10 per cent over the past three months, closed up 0.79 per cent at 434.9p yesterday