Greene King serves up healthy profits as sales rise

Pub retailer Greene King has posted solid profits and rising sales for the six months to 13 October. The company recorded a rise in pre-tax profit of 5.7 per cent to £85.6m while total revenue rose 5.2 per cent to £595.4m.

Strong growth in key areas such as food helped drive like-for-like retail sales up 3.5 per cent. While sales have been resilient the company emphasised that consumers remained careful with their money, particularly in regions outside the South East. The brewer reports that it currently has 1,008 retail sites with 22 added but plans a further expansion of 90 sites over the next 18 months.

Rooney Anand, chief executive officer, commented:

This is a very pleasing set of figures and we have made great progress in the first half of this financial year. Growth has once again been led by our retail business, which grew profits by 8% over last year, helped by a combination of organic growth and further strategic acquisitions. The tenanted and brewing businesses also performed well, helping the overall business to deliver healthy earnings, dividend growth and further improvement in our return on capital employed.