Greene King plc Continues Expansion in 2014

Shares of Greene King (LSE: GNK) slumped by over 4% to 812p after the brewer and pub operator, with just under 2,000 premises countrywide, released its full-year results.

Total revenue for the year to 04 May was up 8% to £1.3bn and profit before tax was up 9% to £173m. The FTSE 250 company continues to expand, spending £24.3m to acquire new sites, taking the retail estate to 1,032 sites up from 888 in 2009.

Facing challenges

greene kingGreene King has seen regional differences in trading, with like-for-like sales at London outlets soaring in the first two months of the new financial year, while sales in the north have lagged. Customers still demand good value, and there was an increase in the share of sales from special promotions, especially in food where Greene King has added more healthy dishes as customers become more health-conscious.

Rooney Anand, the chief executive of Green King, commented:

“We have delivered four years of record results since the credit crunch and maintained this momentum over the last 12 months by giving our customers what they want, in the right way and at the right price.”

Consumers continue to spend cautiously — living to a weekly or monthly budget — although there are signs that the UK economy and consumer confidence are improving. Like-for-like food sales at Green King’s pubs, restaurants and hotels increased 4%, and the group anticipates a further improvement in sales this year.

A better share for growth?

Today's in-line results, amid an unfavourable market backdrop, failed to cheer investors. The shares have lost 8% year-to-date and presently trade at around 12 times forecast earnings.

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Mark does not own shares in Greene King.