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Greene King toasts a merry Christmas

Greene Kings retail sales hit a record �3.1m on Christmas Eve

Greene Kings retail sales hit a record �3.1m on Christmas Eve

  • by DOMINIC JEFF
 

Greene King, the Suffolk-based brewer and pub operator that owns Dunbar-based Belhaven, hailed “very strong” festive trading as it sold a record 62,000 meals on Christmas Day.

The firm, which operates about 2,200 pubs, restaurants and hotels around Britain, said like-for-like sales in its bars were 5 per cent higher in the last six weeks, compared to a year earlier.

The group’s beers also enjoyed a good run, with “core own-brewed” beer up almost 20 per cent in terms of volume in the last six weeks.

Chief executive Rooney Anand said: “Our teams have excelled this festive period, particularly in terms of delivering great customer experiences, and this has helped us deliver record-breaking achievements.”

He said that retail sales on Christmas Day hit a record £3.1 million, up more than 12 per cent on the previous year. New Year’s Eve was also very strong with retail sales up 10 per cent to £4.5m.

The group, whose retail brands include Hungry Horse, Old English Inns and Loch Fyne Seafood & Grill, said its remained confident that it will grow profits and dividends this year, although its assumptions remain unchanged following the healthy Christmas trade.

The group as opened 28 sites to its retail estate in the last 36 weeks, but has also sold off 81 pubs as part of a “non-core” disposal programme.

Martin Brown, an analyst at Shore Capital, said: “Trading at Greene King continues to impress but our forecasts are unlikely to change materially on the back of this statement.”

 

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