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Wed 10th Sep 2014 - Greene King reports slow start in managed division
Greene King reports slow start in managed division: Greene King has reported that like-for-like sales in its managed division were up 0.4% in the first 18 weeks of the year to 7 September, with tough comparatives from the “excellent summer last year compounded by a disappointing World Cup this year”. The company stated: “It is also evident that while the UK economy continues to strengthen, customers remain cautious and are spending very carefully. In response to this, we have protected Retail profitability by being careful not to over-invest in tactical, short-term sales building initiatives. Within Retail, our accommodation business performed well and we saw particularly strong trading at Metropolitan, our premium London pubs, and Farmhouse Inns, our carvery restaurants. Our retail expansion programme continued with a net additional five sites opened in the year-to-date, taking the total estate to 1,037 sites, with a healthy pipeline of potential new sites in place. New sites this year are expected to be significantly weighted towards the second half of the year. Our other businesses also traded well: Pub Partners (tenanted division) total like-for-like net income was up 3.7% after 16 weeks, while in Brewing & Brands, own-brewed volume was up 6.2% after 18 weeks, driven by strong growth from Old Speckled Hen, the UK’s No.1 premium ale brand. Our balance sheet and cash generation remain strong and in line with our expectations. We anticipate that (managed) like-for-like sales will improve as the year progresses and that the momentum in Pub Partners and Brewing and Brands will continue. More broadly, we remain focused on our strategy of delivering long-term growth and returns to our shareholders through expanding our retail estate, increasing our exposure to the eating out market and driving the best value, service and quality for our customers. Overall, we look forward to another year of continued progress across the business.”
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