Greene King posted a full-year sales and profits jump today

Greene King posted a full-year sales and profits jump today

The CEO of UK brewer and pub operator Greene King has warned Britain's decision to leave the EU will hit consumer confidence.

Rooney Anand, who today announced a FY sales and profits jump for Greene King, said the company has had a strong start to the new fiscal year. However, he added that it is "likely that consumer confidence will be affected by Brexit in the near-term".

The UK last week voted to exit the European Union, sparkling a plunge in the value of the Pound and uncertainty in global markets. UK cider makers told just-drinks that it is "business as usual" but warned that it is still too early to tell what effect the referendum will have on the industry. The spirits industry said it is preparing for short-term losses.

Greene King operates more than 3,000 pubs, restaurants and hotels in the UK and would be exposed to any drop in consumer demand in the on-trade. Last year, it bought Spirit Pub Co for GBP773.6m (US$1.04bn), leading to the creation of the largest managed pub group in the UK.

Addressing Brexit concerns, Anand said Greene King has a "strong track record of performing well in challenging conditions".

In today's full-year results, the Spirit Pub purchase helped push Greene King's sales above GBP2bn for the first time.

Sales increased by 58% to GBP2.07bn in the 12 months to 1 May, while net profits were up 113% to GBP190.9m on the back of the Spirit Pub acquisition. Operating profits climbed by 73% to GBP366.3m in the full-year.

On an underlying basis, Greene King's pub business, which includes the Spirit Pub assets, increased sales by 5% and operating profits by 3%. The Brewing & Brands unit, which includes Greene King's namesake beers, pushed sales up 2% and operating profits 6%.

Commenting on today's results, analyst Nigel Parsons at Canaccord said Greene King "revealed better than expected results".

Parsons added: "Clearly, there's a Brexit-induced economic impact to factor in but Greene King is a very resilient business."

Carlsberg today announced that it will cease to run its own distribution services in the UK.