Greene King spends less but profits soar

Related tags Greene king Old speckled hen

Greene King has pushed up profits despite spending less on its pubs and beers.The regional brewer invested £32.4m in capital expenditure in the year...

Greene King has pushed up profits despite spending less on its pubs and beers.

The regional brewer invested £32.4m in capital expenditure in the year to April 28, down from the previous year's £38m.

This week it revealed that restructuring its estate and introducing new initiatives helped to continue its record of growth.

Pre-tax profits were up by 15 per cent to £62.8m while turnover edged up by four per cent to £431.7m.

Chairman David McCall (pictured)​ said that, although capital expenditure was down, the company "produced very encouraging returns from it".

"We are confident that there are significant numbers of attractive investment opportunities within the business for future exploitation," he added.

Greene King spent the year consolidating the business after three major acquisitions - Oxfordshire brewer Morland, Beards of Sussex and a package of Marston's pubs.

This included the sale of 75 pubs which raised £31.5m and a profit over book value of £2m.

"We envisage a continued, albeit lower, level of disposal activity and have a number of properties currently being sold," Mr McCall said.

Its estate of 1,600 tenanted, leased and managed pubs continued to grow profits, with the 1,100-strong Pub Partners winning the title of best large tenanted pub estate in the Publican Awards​ this year.

The 500-strong managed pub company, which includes the Hungry Horse chain, showed particular growth in its town centre pubs.

"They further differentiated themselves from their largely branded high street competitors," Mr McCall said.

The company is also trialling new concepts, such as a destination food pub which has been highly successful in its first three sites.

The brewer's key brands - Greene King IPA, Abbot Ale, Old Speckled Hen and Ruddles County - were all in growth by the end of the year and market share was at record levels.

Mr McCall said Greene King's profits growth came from "our pursuit of a proven strategy, high quality assets and excellent people".

"We are confident that, as long as we remain true to this approach, our company will continue to develop successfully in the future," he said.

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