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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England