Brewer and pub operator Greene King has unveiled a nine per cent rise in profits to £35m on sales up 17 per cent to £249m for the half-year.
In the Pub Company, the division comprising 585 managed houses, sales rose by 19 per cent to £152.2m and trading profits were up 10 per cent to £25.5m.
The company said the latest set of results included like-for-like figures from the managed house business down 0.4 per cent. But like-for-likes have moved back into positive territory since the half-year.
During the year the company acquired the 107-strong Morrells of Oxford pub business from US entrepreneur Michael Cannon for £67m. The company converted 39 of these managed houses to tenancy.
"We have consistently emphasised the importance of owning freehold pubs," said chief executive Tim Bridge. "Our very small exposure to leasehold properties gives us significant trading resilience.
"The integration of the Morrells pubs is now complete and represents, with Old English Inns, a further opportunity to drive future profit growth."
In Pub Partners, the company's tenanted and leased division, turnover rose 23 per cent to £53.1m trading profit was up 17 per cent to £19.7m. The estate now stands at 1,094 pubs.
The Brewing and Brands division saw sales volumes rise five per cent on the previous year. The star performers were Greene King IPA, up six per cent, Old Speckled Hen up 14 per cent and Abbot Ale up 22 per cent.
Distribution outside of the Greene King pub estate now accounts for 75 per cent of beer volumes. Sales rose four per cent to £43.9m and trading profit by seven per cent to £6.1m.