Greene King sales improve ahead of proposed takeover

Cold weather in May, followed by a wet June this year prompted Britons to stay at home

Last month, the brewer of Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale agreed to the bid from Hong Kong-listed CK Asset.

Last month, the brewer of Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale agreed to the bid from Hong Kong-listed CK Asset.

 

Greene King said on Friday comparable sales at its pubs rose 1.5 per cent over the last seven weeks, as it prepared for a proposed 4.6 billion pound ($5.68 billion) takeover by a company founded by Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-Shing.

Last month, the brewer of Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale agreed to the bid from Hong Kong-listed CK Asset, which said it was seeking to increase its UK presence even as Brexit concerns loom large.

However, Greene King said total comparable sales for Pub Company - through which it manages its chain of about 2,730 pubs, restaurants and hotels - were down 1.8 per cent for the 18 weeks ended September 1st, reflecting the tough comparatives of last year’s successful Fifa World Cup and good weather.

Cold weather in May, followed by a wet June this year prompted Britons to stay at home, hitting many retailers too.

The proposed takeover comes at a time when Greene King’s rivals JD Wetherspoon, Mitchells & Butlers and Marston’s are struggling with a rise in minimum wage and higher costs.

Greene King’s investors are yet to vote on the takeover bid.

Comparable net income at its Pub Partners unit was down 4.2 per cent for the first 16 weeks of its financial year, while total beer volumes were down 6.5 per cent for the first 18 weeks at Brewing & Brands. – Reuters