Greene King Plc - Trading Statement
Pub Company LFL sales for the 52 weeks to 28th April were up 2.9%, ahead of the market1 and reflecting the successful programmes in place to drive industry-leading value, service and quality for our customers. We saw good drink volume growth across Pub Company and, in particular, in our 1,000 drink-led Greene King local pubs, which recorded LFL sales of 4.6%. LFL sales for the last 16 weeks were up 2.4%.
Easter LFL sales were up 4.6% against last year's Easter weekend, helped by the good weather and particularly strong trading from Chef & Brewer, which recorded LFL sales of 15.3%.
Pub Partners LFL net income for the 52 weeks was up 1.6% while LFL profit was down 1.4%. In Brewing & Brands, total beer volumes were up 0.9% and own-brewed volumes were down 3.4% against a UK ale market2 down 4.2%.
During the second half of the financial year, we made further progress on our debt refinancing plan. By the year end, we had repaid £393m, or 51% of the Spirit debenture, while we tapped the Greene King securitisation for £250m at 3.6%, creating headroom within our revolving credit facility for future bond repayments from the debenture.
We expect to limit net cost inflation this year to between £10-20m and for full year profit before tax, non-underlying and exceptional items to be between £244m and £247m. We are broadly on track to deliver our disposals programme and new builds/single site acquisitions for the year.
Our preliminary results will be announced on 27th June 2019, at which time we will also update on IFRS 16.
Rooney Anand, chief executive officer commented: "We have traded strongly this year and have returned to market outperformance. As I hand over to my successor Nick Mackenzie, I believe that, with our strong pub and beer brands, talented and dedicated team and high-quality estate, Greene King is well positioned to make further progress and continue outperforming the market."