UK: Acquisitions drive Greene King earnings
A slew of acquisitions has driven a strong first-half performance from Greene King.
The UK brewing and pub group, which in the last year has acquired the Laurel pub group as well as brewers Ridley's and Belhaven, has reported a 24% leap in EBITDA to GBP102.6m (US$190.2m) for the six months to 16 October. Turnover rose 19% to GBP359.9m.
Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand said the integration of the Laurel and Ridley's businesses were "ahead of plan".
He added: "Trading in our divisions remains in line with our expectations and there will be a full contribution from Belhaven in the second half. We remain confident of achieving a successful outcome for the year as a whole."
Greene King, which manages and leases over 2,000 pubs in the UK, saw turnover from its managed pubs division rise 18% - with revenue from its leased business up 21% - during the first half of this year.
Anand said the company's recently-acquired Belhaven business would cope with the introduction of a smoking ban in Scotland next March.
"The Belhaven team have derived best practice from the experiences of the Irish licensed trade and elsewhere," Anand said. "Belhaven already has a strong record of growth. The approach going forward is to enhance its well-established strategy. Food development is an important area of focus, and one in which our experience will be of great use."
Anand added that last month's introduction of 24-hour licensing in the UK would benefit Greene King and insisted the company was "committed" to responsible drinking. "Our relatively low exposure to the high street, coupled with our stance against excessive promotional discounting, stands us in good stead against any additional regulation in this arena," he added.
Revenues from Greene King's brewing business, which includes the Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale brands, rose 13%.
Sectors: Beer & cider
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