In its year-end results, Greene King (the parent company of Belhaven) has announced that pre-tax profit is down 11% at £243m. This follows a challenging first half when it was down 8%. The profit reduction is in part down to the company reducing the size of its estate by 4% across the board as part of a strategy that raised £288m over the last three years through the sale of 295 pubs. The good news is that current period sales were ahead 2.2% for the last eight weeks, possibly helped by the good weather. Said Chief Executive Officer Rooney Anand, pictured, “We made good progress improving the performance of the business during the second half of the year, despite a challenging trading environment. Our investment to improve the customer experience in our pubs and the focus on our strategic priorities are beginning to pay off. Positive momentum, both in terms of trading and customer satisfaction, is returning to our business.
“While it is still early days, this positive momentum has continued into the new financial year, aided by good weather and popular sporting events. We remain focused on continuing to drive top-line growth, developing a more efficient organisation and further strengthening our capital structure to deliver long-term value creation for our shareholders. We expect the trading environment to remain challenging for some time.”