Greene King spirits up as cash strapped diners flock to pubs

GREENE King boss Rooney Anand said yesterday that his 2,298 pubs were benefiting from the effects of the economy’s troubles, with customers choosing pubs over fine dining as they tighten their belts.

As the pub owner and brewer announced a 7.3 per cent rise in turnover in the first half of its financial year, Anand said a pub visit was “a small everyday treat” that people are making allowances for even as they cut back on other things. “The environment has ensured we all have to cut our cloth, and pubs are more affordable and more justifiable, they don’t look as expensive,” Anand told City A.M.

Food sales were up 12 per cent on the same period last year, while the other “growth categories” of wine and hot drinks increased by 22 and 8.3 per cent respectively.

Greene King saw revenues of £566.2m in the 24 weeks to 14 October. Profits also rose from £77.2m to £82.7m. The brewing arm, which makes Speckled Hen and Greene King IPA, upped turnover by 2.2 per cent.