Greene King shrugs off industry concerns

04 December 2007 by
Greene King

Pub and restaurant operator Greene King has confidence in the resilience of its business model to survive the tougher times ahead.

Despite concerns about the declining level of consumer spending on eating out, Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand said today the business continued to benefit from recent buys such as Loch Fyne Restaurants.

"We have had a very successful first half but we expect the remainder of the year to be more challenging," Rooney said. "Nevertheless, we remain confident in the quality of our pubs, beer brands and people."

Anand listed pressures and uncertainties as cost increases, price competition from the off trade, the short-term effect of the smoking ban and concerns about consumer confidence in the wake of the credit crunch.

The Suffolk-based owner of approximately 2,500 managed, tenanted and leased pubs said first-half pre-tax profit rose to £71.6m compared with £67.1m the previous year.

Turnover for the 24 weeks ending 14 October rose 6% year-on-year to £445m (2006: £419.2m).

The operator has opened a new Loch Fyne restaurant in Milton Keynes since taking ownership in August, which takes the current total to 37.

Greene King expects to have 45 Loch Fyne's open by the end of its financial year.

Rooney added that Greene King was keeping under review plans to realise value from its property estate.

Greene King buys New Century Inns >>

Greene King unveiled record results and brushes aside smoking ban worries >>

By Christopher Walton

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