Greene King Sales Improve Ahead Of Proposed Takeover
Greene King Plc said on Friday (September 6) that comparable sales at its pubs rose 1.5% over the last seven weeks as it prepared for a proposed £4.6 billion (€5.1 billion) takeover by a company founded by Hong Kong's richest man, Li Ka-Shing.
Last month, the brewer of Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale agreed to the bid from Hong Kong-listed CK Asset, which said that it was seeking to increase its UK presence even as Brexit concerns loom large.
However, Greene King said that total comparable sales for Pub Company - through which it manages its chain of about 2,730 pubs, restaurants and hotels - were down 1.8% for the 18 weeks that ended on September 1, reflecting the tough comparatives of last year's successful Fifa World Cup and good weather.
Cold weather in May followed by a wet June this year prompted Britons to stay at home, hitting many retailers too.
The proposed takeover comes at a time when Greene King's rivals JD Wetherspoon, Mitchells & Butlers and Marston's are struggling with a rise in minimum wage and higher costs.
Greene King's investors are yet to vote on the takeover bid.
Comparable net income at its Pub Partners unit was down 4.2% for the first 16 weeks of its financial year, while total beer volumes were down 6.5% for the first 18 weeks at Brewing & Brands.