Greene King expects to meet annual forecasts

UK pub retailer Greene King expects to meet full-year market forecasts as like-for-like retail sales rose 2.2 per cent and food sales climbed 2.7 per cent, according to a trading update published Monday.

UK pub retailer Greene King expects to meet full-year market forecasts as like-for-like retail sales rose 2.2 per cent and food sales climbed 2.7 per cent, according to a trading update published Monday.

The brewer said it delivered a strong performance for the year to April 28th 2013, despite poor weather and difficult trading conditions in the second half.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) per pub in Pub Partners - the tenanted, franchised and leased business - jumped 4.6% after 48 weeks.

The company is working to reduce the size of its Pub Partners' estate. It expects to cut back the estate by 108 sites to 1272 sites through non-core disposals and reverse-transfers in the year.

In retail, on the other hand, the group added 33 new sites during the year, bringing the total to 987 by year end.

The Brewing & Brands division improved in the face of a subdued market. While the UK ale market was down 3.8%, the firm's core brand own-brewed volumes were up 0.8% after 51 weeks. Results in the second half were driven by investment in core ale brands.

Green King achieved record Easter food revenue, selling 700,000 meals over the four-day period which saw like-for-like growth of 5.2%.

"Although trading conditions were more demanding in the second half of our financial year, our business has once again demonstrated its resilience and we have delivered good progress across all businesses," said Chief Executive Officer, Rooney Anand.

"Despite the impact on trading and profitability caused by the extreme weather conditions in the second half of the year, we expect to meet external full year expectations for profit, cashflow and balance sheet, with continued improvement in group ROCE [return on capital employed] and a further reduction in group leverage."

RD

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