Greene King Pub Partners
Suffolk-based pub company, Greene King, will be hoping to go one better after being a finalist in the Best Tenanted/Leased Pub Company (201+ sites) category at the 2016 Publican Awards. The company reported strong financial results towards the end of 2016 with reported operating profit growth of 19.1%. Furthermore, the company believes it is successfully negotiating the challenges presented by the market-rent-only (MRO) option: "We remain of the view that MRO will not have a material impact on the group".
Punch, at the time of writing, is one of the country's biggest operators with 3,100 pubs in its estate. The pubco has responded to the challenges of the pubs code with its Falcon retail agreement, which gives an open-ended time-frame for licensees and offers a percentage of turnover with publicans only responsible for paying staff.
The Faversham brewer has increased its estate to beyond the 330 mark, with its acquisition of seven sites from Enterprise Inns a highlight. After being a finalist in this category in 2016, the Kent company will hope that those acquisitions will help it go one step further in March's awards.
Star Pubs & Bars
By the time March's Publican Awards comes around, Star may well have completed its transformation from being a huge pub company to one of the country's biggest, due to its proposed purchase of 1,900 pubs. The company appointed Lawson Mountstevens as managing director in January 2016 and his company plans on targeting the Millennial customer in 2017: "Millennials are seeking out experiential food and drink that tastes great, is visually appealing and has a story attached to it," he told The Morning Advertiser.