Green King booked record sales of £6.8m on Christmas Day last year, the company revealed this morning.
The 3,000-strong pub group said the best-ever haul was led by food sales across its combined retail estate, with the Farmhouse Inn in Ashton-under-Lyme trumping all its properties by booking a record pub trading day of £19k.
In a trading statement for the 40 weeks to 7 February 2016, Greene King reported that Prosecco volumes were up 69% while Premium Gin grew 77% during the Christmas and New Year period. On New Year’s Eve, its pubs served a record 4,447 drinks per minute during the last hour of 2015.
Following the successful integration of the Spirit leased business at the end of the first half, Pub Partners performed well with LFL net income up 2.5% – an improvement on the trend seen at the half year.
Individual pubs had a great Christmas with five sites from the company’s turnover agreement estate achieving sales of more than £40,000 during the Christmas week.
Combined Retail sales were up 67% after 40 weeks benefitting from a 33 week contribution from Spirit and 6% growth at Greene King.
LFL sales were up 2.2% in the Greene King Estate, led by locals, pubs and hotels, with growth in food, drink and rooms. LFL sales grew by 1.1% in the Spirit Managed business, with a continued strength in Chef & Brewer.
CEO Rooney Anand said: “This was another strong performance, with all divisions trading well during the important festive period, and record trading on Christmas Day. The latest Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker shows that, despite varying their choices when eating out, pubs were a major destination for customers.
“Our positive trading results are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our teams who gave our guests great experiences, with value, service and quality central to our offer.
“I am pleased to report continued progress with the Spirit integration, including encouraging signs from our rebranded trial sites thus far, and continued progress in terms of synergy delivery. Our focus remains on the development and continuous enhancement of our core Greene King business while successfully integrating Spirit, to create the UK’s leading pub company.”
The company’s disposal programme is on track, with 33 Pub Partners disposals so far this year.
In Brewing & Brands, its own-brewed volume was up 3.9%. Growth was driven by Greene King IPA and Old Speckled Hen. Greene King IPA has been helped by its popularity surge in China and the distribution from within the Spirit managed estate. In addition, Greene King IPA was recently announced as the official beer of England cricket.
In addition to the ongoing strong growth in the underlying Retail business, the company opened 10 new sites in its combined Retail estate in the year to date.
Overall, Greene King said that its expectations for the full year were unchanged and despite the current global economic uncertainty, remain confident that they will deliver further value to guests and shareholders by continuing to develop and enhance the existing Greene King business while successfully integrating Spirit.