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UK: Greene King injects some cheer into beer

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Greene King has reported that its beer sales have bucked a decline in the UK market over the summer.

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At its annual general meeting today (6 September), Greene King will tell its shareholders that volume sales of its core beer brands rose by 1.8% in the 18 weeks to 4 September. This, it said, compares against a UK ale market down by 8% in volume in the second calendar quarter of 2011.  

"All of our category-leading core brands are outperforming their categories with Old Speckled Hen performing particularly well," said the brewer. While it said that trading remains uncertain, the group added: "Overall, our margins, profit, cashflow and balance sheet remain in-line with our expectations."

Despite a relatively strong performance from beer brands, it is food sales in Greene King-owned pubs that is driving the group's performance. The acquisition of Capital Pub Co for GBP93m (US$149.7m), announced in July, will boost Greene King's presence in food-led pubs.


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