In a trading update this morning, the company said that like-for-like sales in its managed pubs division were up by 4.3%, although they rose by 5% for the first 35 weeks until the freezing winter hit.
It added that it had seen ‘very strong' growth in the two weeks ahead of Christmas. Meanwhile, like-for-like food sales also grew strongly and combined with growth in food-related drinks sales.
But Greene King said it expected like-for-like sales to ‘moderate' through the rest of the financial year due to tough comparatives with the previous year and the rise in VAT.
The firm's Pub Partners business, its tenanted and leased division, saw average profit (EBITDA) fall by 4.9% up to week 36, but a 0.8% fall in the second half of the year, since 18 October, revealed an ‘improving profit trend'.
It added that the ‘health' of licensees appeared to be improving, with new applications up 20% in December on the same month last year.
And Greene King's brewing arm saw volume increase 7.2% over the 38-week period although once again, volume growth was expected to ‘moderate' in the second half of this financial year.
By Neil Gerrard
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