Greene King hungry for more food sales as profits rise
Greene King, the pub and brewing group, insisted it has plenty of growth to shoot for in the eating-out market and by making further acquisitions after it toasted a rise in interim profits.
The unseasonably warm weather has helped the brewer of Greene King IPA and Old Speckled Hen ales to accelerate its sales growth in the last six weeks, but the group warned that next year will be "tougher" than this year for consumer spending.
Greene King has expanded its food offer significantly in recent years and delivered a 16.3 per cent jump in total food sales over the 24 weeks to 16 October. On a like-for-like basis, the pub company's food sales rose by 4.9 per cent over the period.
Rooney Anand, the chief executive of Greene King, said: "The UK eating-out market is worth £40bn and we have less than 1 per cent. We have got bags of share we can take." He added: "It is largely through getting people to come more often rather than lowering the prices or changing the menu." In the last six weeks, Greene King's food sales have accelerated to be up by 6 per cent, boosted by the balmy weather.
Founded in 1799, the group has 2,410 pubs, restaurants and hotels across the UK, including the Hungry Horse, Old English Inn and Loch Fyne Restaurant brands.
The group grew profits, before exceptional items, by 5.6 per cent to £77.2m, on total sales up by 9 per cent to £527.5m. Its retail, and brewing and brands businesses both grew operating profits, but these slipped by 2.3 per cent at its 1,460 tenanted, leased and franchised pubs division.
Greene King – which acquired the Capital Pub Company and 33 freehold sites in London for £96m in September – plans to grow its estate of retail pubs to 1,100 over the next three to five years.
Mr Anand said: "We are committed to expanding our estate. We will seek both to build and buy pubs." But Greene King wants to shrink its tenanted estate by about 250 pubs.
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...
£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...