Total food growth for the company was at 16.8 per cent (5.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis). Food now accounts for 39 per cent of Greene King’s sales (£300m) and the company revealed that it sees a ‘significant long-term opportunity’ in the UK eating out market.
“Our team has once again delivered record results and attractive returns to our shareholders in a difficult environment,” said Rooney Anand, Greene King chief executive.
“We have achieved strong growth and made further strategic progress. All our businesses are building customer loyalty by delivering industry-leading value, service and quality as we strive to be Britain’s best pubs and beer business.”
Recent food developments for the company include the offering of lower calorie dishes, an addition of takeaway options and innovative menu ideas including the ‘fish your way’ in its Loch Fyne Restaurants.
Alongside the food sales, Greene King achieved like-for-like growth in its two other main sales categories, with drink and room like-for-likes up 2.4 and 2.9 per cent respectively.
Average EBITDA in Greene King’s Pub Partners tenanted division increased by 4 per cent, while revenue in brewing and brands was up 5 per cent to £173.8m.
Looking ahead, Greene King insisted that it’s on-track to deliver its target of operating 1,100 retail sites. It added 51 in the year - 44 from the Capital Pub Company acquisition, two new-builds and five transfers from tenancy - and disposed of 12.
Anand added: “We are in the middle of an exciting summer for Britain, despite the unpredictable weather, with the Diamond Jubilee, Euro 2012 and with the Olympics still to come.
“However, looking further ahead, our customers’ spending will continue to be squeezed and concerns remain about job security.
“Our strategy is tailored for these difficult conditions as we focus on providing ‘everyday treats’ to our customers and delivering sustainable growth in earnings and dividends for our shareholders.”
Greene King's financial results released this time last year painted a similar picture as strong food sales helped deliver the group record sales and profit.
Earlier this month, fellow pub operator Mitchells & Butlers made its R200 debut,coming in at second on Restaurant magazine’s list of the 200 largest restaurant and food-led pub groups in the UK, ranked by number of sites.