Greene King Sales Improve Ahead Of Proposed Takeover
Greene King Plc said on Friday 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 it was seeking to increase its UK presence even as Brexit concerns loom large.
However, Greene King said 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 ended 1 September, 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.