Acquisition of Spirit Pub Company drives increase in annual profits at Bury St Edmunds-based Greene King

Rooney Anand, chief executive of Greene King

Rooney Anand, chief executive of Greene King - Credit: Archant

Pubs and brewing group Greene King today reported a 60% increase in annual pre-tax profits after a 'transformational' year which saw it become the UK's largest operator of directly managed pubs.

The Bury St Edmunds-based company's £773m acquisition of the Spirit Pub Company, completed in July last year, saw total revenue for the 52 weeks to May 1 surge by 57.6% compared with the previous year to £2.073bn.

Group operating profits before exceptional items grew by 53.1% to £392.3m, driven by a 56.8% increase within its key retail pubs estate where operating profits totalled £299.2m.

The smaller leased and tenanted pubs division saw operating profits grow even more strongly, by 58% to £85.3m while the group's brewing business, which has benefited from the addition of the Spirit estate, saw operatinig profits increase by 9.7% to £32.7m.

Statutory bottom line profits grew by 60.6% to £189.8m, with adjusted pre-tax profits, excluding exceptional items, 52.2% higher at £256.5m

Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand said today: 'It has been a transformational year for Greene King. We completed the acquisition of Spirit Pub Company and reached the milestone of £2bn revenue.

'We have delivered growth across each of the three divisions, outperforming the market in a challenging environment while making significant progress in combining the best of both businesses to build Britain's best pub company.'

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He added: 'I am pleased to report a strong start to the new financial year, although it is likely that consumer confidence will be affected by Brexit in the near-term.

'However, Greene King has a strong track record of performing well in challenging conditions, we are a resilient business with a talented team and a strong balance sheet, and we will benefit from the opportunities created by the Spirit acquisition. We are well placed to continue delivering value to our shareholders.'

The dividend for shareholders will rise by 7.7% to 32.05p per share.