Pub company Greene King saw strong Easter trading this year, despite the impact of bad weather over the past 12 weeks.
In its pre-close trading statement, Greene King reported like-for-like sales for the 49 weeks to 8 April of -1.8%. The group said the adverse weather particularly affected destination food-led pubs, and on an underlying basis, excluding the impact of snow, like-for-like sales in the year-to-date were -1.2%.
However, both drink and accommodation like-for-like sales were ahead of last year and trading over Easter was strong, with like-for-like sales up 2.8% against the Easter weekend last year, helped by strong sporting fixtures, especially football and boxing.
A targeted £10m investment made in the second half of the year to improve on value for money, customer service and quality is “starting to positively impact on trading, despite the continued challenging market backdrop”, the group reported.
It said it expects full-year profit before tax and exceptionals to be in the range of £240-£245m.
Greene King operates 2,903 pubs, restaurants and hotels across England, Wales and Scotland, of which 1,758 are retail pubs, restaurants and hotels, and 1,145 are tenanted, leased and franchised pubs. 82% are either freehold or long leasehold.