Greene King makes no-deal Brexit contingency plans as sales rise

Greene King toasted its investment strategy and a warm summer as it unveiled sales growth for the first half of the year.

But the company hinted at stockpiling plans as it said it was preparing for the eventuality of a no-deal Brexit, while warning that uncertainty could hit consumer demand.

Revenue was up 1.95%, amounting to more than £1 billion in the 24 weeks to October 14.

Adjusted profit before tax was almost flat at £128.2 million.

Chief executive Rooney Anand said: “Ongoing uncertainty around Brexit may impact on consumer confidence, but, as a team, we are focused on our key strategic priorities and remain confident of our outlook for the financial year.”

Rooney Anand
Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand (Yui Mok/PA)

The company said it was “working closely with our supply chain partners to safeguard the continued supply of goods to our pubs and breweries, as well as the export of our beers”.

Mark Brumby, of Langton Capital, said: “Consumer confidence has declined recently and Brexit uncertainty remains but these are industry (and economy) wide issues and Greene King is pulling the levers available to it.”

Like-for-like sales in Greene King’s own pubs division, which accounts for the majority of revenue, were up 2.7%.

This was ahead of the wider market, which notched up an average of 1.1% growth in the same period.

Revenue in the pub partners division was down due to a reduction in the number of pubs trading.

Revenue in brewing and brands was up 7.5%, thanks to the World Cup-related beer sales boom.