Greene King’s Profits Increase

Brewer and pub operator Greene King has reported a 6.6 per cent increase in annual profits and said it has made a strong start to the current year, although it warned that the outlook remains “subdued”.

The owner of ales such as Belhaven Best and Old Speckled Hen posted a pre-tax profit of £162 million for the year to 28 April, up from £152m the previous year, on total revenues 4.8 per cent higher at almost £1.2 billion.

During the year the group sold off 108 “non-core” pubs but added 38 venues, of which 15 operate under its Hungry Horse brand.

Chief executive Rooney Anand said:

“This has been another successful year with record results and further, significant progress, led by our retail business, which has delivered 12 per cent profit growth.

“We have made a strong start to the year, but the overall outlook remains subdued and we are not assuming a pick-up in the economy. However, our strategy is designed, and proven to be appropriate, for these conditions as we shift our business towards higher-growth areas of our markets.”

Rooney Anand, Chief Executive

The board proposed a final dividend of 19.45p a share, up 7.5 per cent on last year, lifting the total payout to 26.6p.