Greene King has this morning reported a 1.7% increase in like-for-like sales across its managed estate in the 18 weeks to 4 September, which it said was driven by its Local Pubs estate.
Across its Pub Partners estate, like-for-like net income was up 4.5% after 16 weeks, while in Brewing & Brands, own-brewed volume declined 0.5% over the same period.
The company said it continued to make strong progress with the integration of Spirit including the delivery of further planned synergies and over a quarter of its managed pubs now operate with the ‘best of both’ IT system. It also completed 41 brand conversions in the year-to-date with “encouraging sales uplifts”.
The company said: “As expected, uncertainty surrounding the UK’s future withdrawal from the European Union has translated into a softening of some economic indicators and a reduction in consumer confidence. While the broader implications remain unclear, a number of recent industry surveys have flagged risks to leisure spend and we are alert to a potentially tougher trading environment ahead.
“With this in mind, we will continue to focus on delivering great value, service and quality to our customers. Greene King has a track record of success in challenging trading environments and our strong balance sheet and enhanced opportunities following the Spirit acquisition will help limit any potential impact from prolonged uncertainty in the environment. We remain confident of delivering another year of strategic and financial progress.”
At the same time, the company announced the appointment of Gordon Fryett, formerly of Tesco, to its board as a non-executive director with effect from 1 December 2016. Fryett will also become a member of the audit, nomination and remuneration committees.
He has many years’ experience in retail and property matters, having spent his career at Tesco plc, where his roles, prior to his retirement in 2013, included playing a leading role in Tesco’s expansion in the UK and overseas, the development and management of the group’s property portfolio and CEO of Tesco Ireland.
He was also a non-executive director of Severn Trent plc from 2009 until July 2016 and is currently non-executive director of W. & J. Linney, Limited.
Philip Yea, chairman of Greene King, said: “I am delighted that Gordon has agreed to join our board. His extensive experience of retail and property will undoubtedly add value to our decisions as we develop Greene King over the coming years.”
Following the retirement of Ian Durant as a non-executive director at the annual general meeting today, his appointment in December will return the number of non-executives to five, including the chairman.