Greene King, the pub operator and brewer, had a good Christmas and New Year, the company said today.

Performance for the 36 weeks to 9 January was "in line with expectations" with the best performance coming from the 960-strong managed pubs division.

It saw like-for-like sales increase by 2.2%, on a "robust" 18.3% profit margin.

Like-for-like turnover in the Pub Partners leased and tenanted division was 1.2% ahead and beer sales by volume were up by 2%.

Greene King added that integration of the 432 Laurel neighbourhood pubs it bought last July, was "proceeding smoothly and is four weeks ahead of schedule."

The transfer of 103 pubs from the managed division and 57 ex-Laurel properties into Pub Partners was also "progressing to plan."

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