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Greene King enjoys record profits boost

Published:  23 July, 2008

Brewing and pub chain giant Greene King has seen a 6% revenue increase, driven by record first half financial results.

A 11.8m operating profit was 11% bigger than that achieved from January to July 2006.

However, Chief Executive Rooney Anan predicted that the remainder of the year would be "more challenging."

He said problems facing the industry were well known, but cited the UK-wide smoking ban, general cost pressures and consumer confidence as potentially impacting on Greene King's businesses.

The operating profit margin rose by 1.1%, and the 71.6m pre tax profit was up 7%. Greene King also bought 49 North Country pubs from New Century Inns.

In August it also spent 64.2m on purchasing Loch Fyne Restaurants. This is seen as providing premium dining sector expertise.

The company now operates some 798 outlets, up from 761 in 2006. Average earnings per outlet rose by 3% to 728,000 per outlet.

Like-for-like sales of coffee were up 45%, food increased by 16% and wine 17%.

"These record results have been underpinned by sales and profit growth across all our businesses," said Anan. "This, combined with 126.4m of share buy-backs, has generated substantial earnings growth in the first half."

Interim shareholder dividends are up 13% to 7.3p per share.