At its AGM today, Greene King plc (LON:GNK) will make the following trading statement for the 18 weeks to 1 September 2019.
Like-for-like (LFL) sales in Pub Company grew 1.5% over the last seven weeks1 and, on a two year basis, were up 2.4%, demonstrating the continued momentum in Pub Company as a result of our ongoing focus on improving value, service and quality. LFL sales were down 1.8% for the first 18 weeks, reflecting the tough comparatives of last year’s successful World Cup and good weather. On a two year basis, LFL sales for the first 18 weeks were up 1.0%.
LFL net income in Pub Partners was down 4.2% for the first 16 weeks, driven by softer LFL beer sales following last year’s comparatives. In Brewing & Brands, total beer volumes were down 6.5% for the first 18 weeks and own-brewed volumes were down 7.9%.
We are on track with our cost mitigation programme and expect to limit net inflation this financial year to £10-20m. We also continue to make progress on our refinancing programme and in June we prepaid the remaining £93m Spirit A4 bonds. We remain on track with our disposal programme and expect to dispose of 85-95 pubs this year, generating disposal proceeds of £45-55m from which we will fund the opening of eight new pubs.
On 19 August 2019, Greene King announced a recommended cash acquisition for the company by CK Noble (UK) Limited. Under the terms of the acquisition, each Greene King shareholder will be entitled to receive 850 pence in cash.
In addition, the acquisition allows for the distribution of the previously announced final dividend for the 52 weeks ended 28 April 2019 of 24.4 pence per Greene King share to be paid (subject to approval by Greene King shareholders at today’s AGM) on 13 September 2019 to Greene King shareholders on the register as at the close of business on 9 August 2019.
1. Weeks 1-11 2018 included football World Cup trading; weeks 12-18 2018 did not
NOTES FOR EDITORS
· Greene King was founded in 1799 and is headquartered in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. It currently employs around 38,000 people across its main trading divisions; Pub Company, Pub Partners and Brewing & Brands
· As at 28 April 2019, Greene King operated 2,730 pubs, restaurants and hotels across England, Wales and Scotland, of which 1,687 were retail pubs, restaurants and hotels, and 1,043 were tenanted, leased and franchised pubs. Its leading retail brands are Greene King Local Pubs, Chef & Brewer, Farmhouse Inns and Hungry Horse. 81% of the estate is either freehold or long leasehold
· Greene King also brews quality ale brands from its Bury St. Edmunds and Dunbar breweries. Its industry-leading portfolio includes Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen, Abbot Ale and Belhaven Best