Greene King, the regional brewer and pub operator, said this morning it was delivering a “sector-leading performance” as it unveiled a like-for-like sales increase of 3.6% at its managed pubs. In a trading update for the 49 weeks to 11 April 2010, the company said continued food sales growth and the increased success of its Hungry Horse and Old English Inns brands were driving performance. Average ebitda per pub in Pub Partners, the group’s leased and tenanted division, dropped 3.4% after 48 weeks, with the second half performance on a par with last year. The company said it was confident of meeting its expectations for the full year Greene King, which is led by chief executive Rooney Anand, said it had spent £86m, of 42% of the proceeds of its rights issue and added: “We are confident of driving additional growth via further utilisation of the rights issue proceeds in 2010, whilst maintaining our strict, financial and strategic disciplines.” In Scotland, Greene King said Belhaven Retail continued to deliver industry-leading like-for-like sales growth of +5.6%, that underlying tenanted profit per pub was still level with last year. Belhaven Best volumes improved by 15.4%. The company’s own-brewed volumes are up by 3.9% against an on-trade beer market down 6% and the cask ale market down 3%. In a statement, Anand said: “We are still cautious for the remainder of 2010 as election uncertainty, rising taxes, public sector cutbacks and fragile consumer confidence may continue to limit consumer spending. “Nevertheless, we are confident we can meet these challenges and that the strength of our consumer offer in terms of value, service and quality, in combination with our high quality pub estate, retail and beer brands, will ensure we continue to deliver sector-leading performance.”