Norfolk Business Awards 2018

Bury St Edmunds-based pubs and brewing giant Greene King celebrates record revenues against uncertain backdrop

PUBLISHED: 15:50 29 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:50 29 June 2017

A pint of Greene King IPA.

A pint of Greene King IPA.


Suffolk pubs and brewing firm Greene King is celebrating record sales after successfully integrating Spirit Pub Company into the business.

Rooney Anand, chief executive of Greene King Rooney Anand, chief executive of Greene King

The company, based at Bury St Edmunds, saw revenues soar by 6.9% to £2.2bn while profits before exceptional and non-underlying items (EBITDA) rose by 4.9% to £411m in the year to April, despite tough challenges in the wider economy.

Chief executive Rooney Anand said the company had delivered “another set of record results”, and the £770m acquisition of Spirit in 2015 had led to “a stronger, more competitive business with an industry-leading portfolio of brands”.

The team had successfully completed the integration of Spirit a year ahead of schedule, he said.

“Our performance has been achieved against a demanding backdrop of increased costs, weaker consumer confidence and increasing competition. While I expect these challenges to intensify over the next few years, Greene King has a very strong track record of delivery in tough market conditions.”

The acquisition of Spirit, in Burton upon Trent, helped, he added.

“Using the scale that the Spirit acquisition has brought, we will continue towards our aim of being the best pub company in Britain.”

He praised the “fantastic” workforce - the firm employs around 1,000 staff at its Suffolk base, and around 4,000 across its East Anglian outlets alone.

By the end of the financial year, the firm operated 2,924 pubs, restaurants and hotels in the UK, of which 1,769 were retail and others tenanted, leased and franchised. Its brands include Hungry Horse, Flaming Grill, Farmhouse Inns and Chef & Brewer. Its top-selling ales include Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen, Abbot Ale and Belhaven Best.

Chairman Philip Yea said the business was “strategically strong and well-managed” to address the tougher trading environment forecast for the next few years.

“Uncertainty affecting both business and consumer confidence is likely to continue following the recent election and the unknown length and outcome of the Brexit negotiations,” he added.

“Alongside the rest of the industry, we are experiencing significant cost pressures but Greene King’s scale and the consequent cost efficiences, not least from the Spirit integration, should enable us to mitigate much of the cost increases.”

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