Greene King Plc (LON:GNK) will make the following trading statement for the 18 weeks to 2nd September 2018.
The positive momentum in Pub Company continued through the summer with like-for-like sales up 2.8% for the first 18 weeks of the year, ahead of the market1 which was up 1.2%. Growth over the last 10 weeks was 3.2%. This strong performance was underpinned by the ongoing benefits from our sales driving investment to further improve our Value, Service and Quality, and boosted by the weather and a successful World Cup.
Our Greene King branded local pubs traded particularly well with LFL sales of +5.5%, driven by very strong LFL drink growth. 3.7m pints of beer were sold in total during England’s seven World Cup matches and LFL sales on the day of the semi-final were up 61%.
LFL net profit in Pub Partners was -0.4% after 16 weeks, impacted by the timing of higher overhead costs which we expect to balance out over the year. Total beer volumes in Brewing & Brands were up 4.0% and own-brewed volumes were up 0.3%.
Our cost mitigation programme to help offset gross cost inflation of c.£45-50m is on track and we are making good progress with our refinancing programme, which will reduce the cost of debt and increase flexibility.
We remain on course to dispose of 100-110 pubs this year and expect to open around nine new pubs.
We continue to focus on profitably driving top line growth, developing a more streamlined and efficient organisation and further strengthening our capital structure to deliver long-term value creation for our shareholders.