Greene King beats the downturn with a 9.4 per cent sales increase

Record profits for the Suffolk brewer and pub operator as food sales soar.

Abbot Ale is the premium brand of Greene King in the UK.
Bottoms up: Abbot Ale is the premium brand of Greene King in the UK.

Greene King continues to defy the economic gloom, posting an 8.6 per cent increase in pre-tax profit – it reported £152m the 52 weeks ended 29 April 2012, compared to to £140m for the same period last year. Total revenues for the Bury St Edmunds-based pub and restaurant operator increased by 9.4 per cent to £1.14bn (2011: £1.04bn).

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and exceptional items increased by 5.6 per cent to £292m (2011: £276.6m). Total annual expenditure was £224.9m (2011: £209.5m).

Operating profit rose 6.4 per cent to £236.2m (2011: £222m), while the operating margin fell by 0.6 per cent points to 20.7 per cent (2011: 21.3 per cent).

Greene King's retail division generated 71 per cent of total revenue and 63 per cent of group profit. The division’s revenue grew by 13.1 per cent to £803.9m (2011: £710.7m). Like-for-like sales were up 3.6 per cent.

The pub partners division, responsible for tenanted, leased and franchised pub operations, achieved revenues of £162.7m, down 2.2 per cent but on 6.4 per cent fewer pubs.

The company’s brewing and brands division generated revenue of £173.8m (2011: £165.6m).

Rooney Anand, CEO of Greene King, said:

Our team has once again delivered record results and attractive returns to our shareholders in a difficult environment. We have achieved strong growth and made further strategic progress. All our businesses are building customer loyalty by delivering industry-leading value, service and quality as we strive to be Britain's best pubs and beer business.

We are in the middle of an exciting summer for Britain, despite the unpredictable weather, with the Diamond Jubilee, Euro 2012 and with the Olympics still to come. However, looking further ahead, our customers’ spending will continue to be squeezed and concerns remain about job security. Our strategy is tailored for these difficult conditions as we focus on providing "everyday treats" to our customers and delivering sustainable growth in earnings and dividends for our shareholders.