Rooney Anand, the outgoing CEO of pub group Greene King, is leaving the company on a positive note as its like-for-like (LFL) sales for the 52 weeks to 28 April were ahead of the market with a 2.9% increase.
Anand announced his departure in November after 14 years, effective 30 April, before being appointed chairman of restaurant operator Casual Dining Group in December. Anand will be replaced by Nick Mackenzie.
Drinks performed well for the company as its 1,000 drink-led Greene King local pubs, recorded LFL sales of 4.6%. LFL sales for the last 16 weeks were up 2.4%.
Easter LFL sales were up 4.6% against last year’s Easter weekend, helped by the good weather and particularly strong trading from its Chef and Brewer brand, which recorded LFL sales of 15.3%.
Pub partners LFL net income for the 52 weeks was up 1.6% while LFL profit was down 1.4%. In brewing and brands, total beer volumes were up 0.9% and own-brewed volumes were down 3.4% against a UK ale market down 4.2%.
During the second half of the financial year, the company said it made further progress on its debt refinancing plan, repaying £393m, or 51% of the Spirit debenture.
Greene King expects to limit net cost inflation this year to between £10-20m and for full year profit before tax, non-underlying and exceptional items to be between £244m and £247m.
Rooney Anand, CEO, said: “We have traded strongly this year and have returned to market outperformance. As I hand over to my successor Nick Mackenzie, I believe that, with our strong pub and beer brands, talented and dedicated team and high quality estate, Greene King is well positioned to make further progress and continue outperforming the market.”