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UK: Greene King upbeat as Christmas beer sales rise

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Greene King has seen the pace of beer sales growth in the UK quicken over the Christmas period and is on-track to meet its full-year profits expectations.

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The Old Speckled Hen brewer said today (17 January) that sales of its core beer brands for the seven weeks to 15 January rose by 7.4% in volume terms. That brings beer volume growth for the first 37 weeks of the group's fiscal year to 2.9%, almost 1% higher than the pace of of growth in the firm's first-half.

Greene King's figures are another example of a brewer outperforming an overall lacklustre UK beer market, which shrank by 4% in volume in the first nine months of 2011 and is expected to decline further.

Across its business, which includes pubs, Greene King said that it expects profits to meet its expectations for the full-year. Looking ahead, it said: "Although we expect another difficult environment for the UK consumer in 2012, we remain confident that we will continue to deliver growth and value to our shareholders." 

It added: "It is clear that, even in these difficult times, customers still look for enjoyment and some respite from the financial pressures they are facing."


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