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Greene King posts double-digit holiday sales growth

[BENGALURU] Pub operator Greene King Plc on Tuesday posted double-digit comparable growth for the two weeks covering Christmas and New Year's, as more British pub-goers toasted to pints of beers and ales at its outlets.

Greene King, which was founded in 1799, reported a 10.9 per cent rise in comparable sales in the last two weeks of the year and posted record sales of 7.7 million pounds on Christmas day.

The brewer's strong sales mirrored the owner of Slug and Lettuce pub chain Stonegate Pub Company, which recently reported higher sales over the Christmas period on the back of strong bookings.

Greene King, which brews ales such as Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale, said comparable sales at its pubs rose 3.2 per cent for the 36-week period ending Jan. 6, 2019.

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Greene King's latest Christmas trading update was in stark contrast to last year, which was marred by snowy and icy weather in the UK.

Greene King said Brexit uncertainty could still hurt consumer spending during the year, but the company remains confident for its outlook on the financial year.

The Suffolk-based company, which owns the Chef and Brewer and Hungry Horse pubs, said it was on track to dispose 100 to 110 pubs and limit cost inflation to a range between 10 million pounds (S$17.33 million) to 20 million pounds in the financial year.

REUTERS