January 13, 2014 / 7:15 AM / in 4 years

Christmas dinner demand helps Greene King sales rise

LONDON, Jan 13 (Reuters) - British pub and breweries group Greene King posted a 5 percent rise in underlying sales at its core managed pubs business, helped by record food sales on Christmas day.

Greene King, which operates the Hungry Horse, Old English Inns, Eating Inn and Loch Fyne restaurants, on Monday said like-for-like retail sales were up 5 percent in the last six weeks, driven by a 5.8 percent rise in food sales.

Underlying sales for the first 36 weeks of the year were up 3.8 percent, the firm said, ahead of 3.5 percent growth at the half year.

The company, which has around 2,200 pubs, restaurants and hotels across Britain, said it had sold a record 62,000 meals on Christmas day, while sales on New Year’s Eve had also surged.

Greene King said its leased and tenanted pubs had continued to trade well with average core earnings per pub up 5.6 percent after 36 weeks, while core own-brewed volume in its brewing division was up 5.8 percent in the same period.

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