Following Greene King’s full year results announcement yesterday, analysts from Hargreaves Lansdown and Goodbody give their reactions on the numbers.

Despite Greene King’s full-year results being broadly in line with analysts’ expectations, with like-for-like sales up 2.9%, some investors were hoping for more, according to Sophie Lund-Yates, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, with shares falling 6.3% following the announcement.

“By most standards, Greene King’s results this morning would be seen as good news, with strong performances across the key Pub Company and Pub Partners divisions. Perhaps more crucially for investors, the group confirmed troublesome cost inflation headwinds were being kept under control.

“It seems though that someone, somewhere is disappointed, given the discouraging market reaction following the announcement,” she added. Weak numbers last year, due to disruption caused by the ‘Beast form the East’ have flattered numbers this quarter, and she suspects the warm weather over Easter had raised hopes this year’s trading would be even better.

“Given the weather was hampering efforts last year, it’s unfortunate trading hasn’t been spectacular while the elements are in its favour,” said Lund-Yates. “Investors are making sure it’s known that good isn’t necessarily going to be good enough. Greene King will need to follow up this set of results with a string of more positive numbers if we’re to believe it’s out of the woods.”

Meanwhile, Paul Ruddy, a gaming and leisure analyst at Goodbody, said that, overall, it was a solid end to the year, and there is slight upward pressure to its full year PBT forecasts.

“Greene King shares are +31% year to date and it now trades on 8.5x FY20 EV/EBITDA, broadly in line with its 10-year averages,” said Ruddy.

“Given the level of cost headwind yet again facing the sector in the year ahead, we see little scope for profit growth so find it difficult to argue in favour of a further re-rating.

“Furthermore, we would note that GNK faces a difficult comp in H1 as it laps the extended period of hot weather last summer and England’s run in the FIFA World Cup. We retain our HOLD rating and 585p price target.”