Greene King – the Suffolk-based brewer and pub operator – this morning revealed that its latest like-for-like sales had dropped by 1.6%. In an interim statement for the first 16 weeks to August 24, the company added that LFL profits were down 1.7% at Pub Partners – its tenancy and leased division. Greene King added that its beer volumes had also dropped by 3%. In a statement the company said: “Market conditions remain challenging as consumer confidence continues to weaken and consumer expenditure continues to contract. “Within this environment, Greene King is well placed to withstand many of the pressures these trends create: the Greene King model is robust and resilient; strong cashflows allow continued investment in growth areas such as food, accommodation and premium ale; and the tough approach to cost management creates opportunities to drive further value into the business.” The company said that it was the wet led pubs that were suffering the most during the current climate. “Larger, food-led sites continue to perform strongly, whilst smaller, wet-led community sites are being more adversely affected by market conditions,” added the statement. “In the value for money segment of the market, new Hungry Horse is in good growth, whilst at a more premium position both Loch Fyne and the Inns division are performing well. Management remains focused on achieving the optimum balance between sales, margins and profit, particularly given a cautious consumer and escalating costs.” Greene King's Scottish division Belhaven continued to outperform – with LFLs up 4.6% for the 16 week period. The company concluded: “To date, the company's cashflow performance and balance sheet position remain healthy and in line with forecasts. Following the successful debt refinancing, interest rates are 100% fixed and no further refinancing is required until 2012. “Despite the current trading challenges and lacklustre outlook for the UK economy, the board anticipates meeting its expectations for the year.”