September 3, 2008
Brewer’s Food for Thought
BREWING and pubs chain Greene King yesterday said sites selling food continued to perform strongly as it battled against challenging trading conditions.
The group's retail arm reported like-for-like sales growth of 1.6% in the 16 weeks to August 24, compared with the 2.8% decline seen in July.
Greene King said its Hungry Horse chain was seeing good growth, whilst the Loch Fyne restaurants acquired last year were "performing well".
The company told shareholders ahead of its annual meeting: "Despite the current trading challenges and lack lustre outlook for the UK economy, the board anticipates meeting its expectations for the year."
In the company's tenanted estate, like-for-like profits were down 1.7% for the 16 weeks, compared with an unchanged performance seen in July.The company added that an increasing level of support was being provided for licensees.
Sales in its brewing division, which includes the brands Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale, were down 3% but the company said this was a strong performance given double-digit declines in the on- trade beer market.
Meanwhile, Greene King's Scottish brewing business Belhaven continues to perform ahead of expectations with like-for-like sales in its managed pub estate a head 4.6% on a year earlier.
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