Greene King and Spirit unscathed by Olympic distractions

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The Independent Online

The wet summer and a downturn in central London pub trade during the Olympics failed to make much of a dent in two of the biggest pub chains, Greene King and Spirit.

Greene King investors were told yesterday that same-pub sales rose 5.1 per cent over the past 18 weeks, which implies they were up 3.1 per cent in the past 10 weeks.

Spirit said that in the 12 weeks to 18 August managed-pub sales rose 4.1 per cent, slightly below the 4.8 per cent increase it will report for the full year.

Mike Tye, chief executive of Spirit, said: "Overall I am delighted that we did the Olympics and that we did them well because that will benefit the country and London in the long term.

"But during the Olympics we saw the big tour groups who book into our pubs for lunch or dinner just disappear. And the tourists who came for the Olympics were not really pub goers."

Outside London, Mr Tye added, the biggest five days of the Olympics when TV audiences went over 15 million were all on traditionally strong pub nights.