Brewer Greene King Sees Mixed Performance For Beer Volumes
UK brewer Greene King has said that total beer volumes in its Brewing & Brands division are up 1.8% in the 36 weeks to 6 January.
However, own-brewed volumes are down 2.3% at the group in the period, while pub company like-for-like sales are up 3.2%.
The group outlined further details of its cost mitigation programme, with which it is seeking to limit net cost inflation to £10 million to £20 million for the year. It is also continuing with an estate optimisation plan, that will see it dispose of between 100 and 110 pubs.
On the UK's planned departure from the European Union in March, Greene King said, 'While the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit may still have an impact on consumer confidence and spending during the year, we remain confident of our outlook for the financial year.
'We remain focused on our strategic priorities of driving profitable sales growth, developing a more streamlined and efficient organisation, and further strengthening and improving the flexibility of our capital structure to deliver long-term value for our shareholders.'
Commenting on its performance, analyst Russ Mould of AJ Bell commented, "“Despite positive factors in the latest trading update, Greene King looks like it is stuck in the mud in a sector that is at the mercy of fragile consumer spending. It will be hoping that Brexit doesn’t cause any major economic setbacks in the UK and that consumers don’t tighten their purse strings on discretionary spending.”
Greene King's brands include Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen, Abbot Ale and Belhaven Best, which it brews at its Bury St. Edmunds and Dunbar facilities. It also operates 2,798 pubs, restaurants and hotels across England, Wales and Scotland.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.