Greene King had a great Christmas, but for the success to continue, its chief executive, Rooney Anand, admits that he needs some decent weather in what is a “clean” summer.
With no Olympics, Jubilee or major football tournament, pubs could be empty, especially if it rains.
“People still go out if it is cold,” Mr Anand said. “If it is wet, they don’t. “The last decent summer we had was 2006. Perhaps we are due another one.”
He was talking as Greene King recorded Christmas Day sales of £2.7m, a rise of 6.8 per cent.
Over the 36 weeks to 6 January, like-for-like sales across the company’s estate of 2,300 pubs were up 3.7 per cent.
Not many retailers can boast such growth, Mr Anand points out.
“These are very positive sales numbers,” he said. “They are a sign that although people are watching their pennies, pubs are still pivotal to communities.”
Analysts reckon Greene King is on track to make profit for the year of about £165m.
The company’s shares nudged up by 2.5p to 651p.