Wet Summer Hurts Greene King's Sales In New Financial Year
Britain's Greene King Plc reported higher-than-expected annual profit, boosted mainly by last year's football World Cup, but said the unseasonable wet summer had hurt the pub operator's sales in the first eight weeks of the year.
The brewer of Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale, said on Thursday its adjusted profit before tax rose 1.6% to £246.9 million (€275.7 million) for the 52 weeks ended 28 April, higher than company compiled estimates of £243.9 million (€272.3 million).
Total comparable sales for Greene King's Pub Company, through which it manages its chain of about 2,900 pubs, restaurants and hotels, rose 2.9%.
Reported pretax profit fell 12.5% to £172.8 million (€192.9 million) in the year, hurt by growing costs.
Minimum Wage Hike
Greene King, like most restaurant chains in the country, has been battling increased costs due to a minimum wage hike, higher property prices and power bills, as well as a move away from pub drinking by younger Britons.
Rival JD Wetherspoon said last month its costs were significantly higher than last year, mainly stemming from labour costs hurt by very low unemployment.
"Political and consumer uncertainty is likely to continue to weigh on confidence and the cost inflationary environment persists," chief executive Nick Mackenzie said in a statement.
Greene King's shares are expected to fall up to 3%, according to premarket indicators.