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Pub operator and brewer Greene King (LON:GNK) has increased statutory profits before tax for the 24 weeks ended 14th October by 3.2% to £127.7 million. Revenues for the period were £1.05 billion, a 1.9% improvement over last year as the company benefited from warm weather and the World Cup during the summer.
The interim dividend was maintained at 8.8p as overall cash generation improved. The company is continuing to strategically dispose of properties to fund new builds elsewhere, which it credits with helping to increase net weekly takes by 7.9% over the last three years.
CEO Rooney Anand said: “We have seen continued positive momentum in Pub Company, which was sustained beyond the boost of the World Cup and the summer weather. The hard work of our teams, combined with the investments we made to improve our customer experience, is driving sales outperformance to the market. We remain highly cash generative, meeting our debt repayment requirements, investing in our pubs and paying an attractive, sustainable dividend out of operating free cashflow. Good progress was made refinancing the Spirit debenture, which will reduce the cost of our debt and increase the strength and flexibility of our balance sheet.
“Looking forward, Christmas bookings are up on last year and we look forward to ensuring customers have a great time celebrating the festive season in our pubs. Ongoing uncertainty around Brexit may impact on consumer confidence, but as a team we are focused on our key strategic priorities and remain confident of our outlook for the financial year“.
The price of Greene King shares climbed by 3.94% to 527.60p (as of 14:15 GMT).