In a trading update for the 18 weeks to 1 September, the FTSE 250 pub chain said LFL sales for the period were down 1.8% as it struggled to beat last year’s performance amid the UK’s summer heatwave and England’s World Cup performance which drove many punters into its pubs and beer gardens.
Meanwhile, LFL net income from the group’s pub partners was down 4.2% for the first 16 weeks of the year due to softer LFL beer sales, beer volumes in Greene King’s Brewing & Brands arm were also down 6.5% in the first 18 weeks.
However, the company said LFL sales in its pub company business were up 1.7% over the last seven weeks, and up 2.4% on a two-year basis, which it said demonstrated “continued momentum” in the division.
Greene King also said it was “on track” to dispose of 85-95 pubs in the current year, which it expected to generate proceeds of between £45-55mln to be used to fund the openings of eight new pubs.
The update followed news in mid-August that the company had agreed to be taken over by a company owned by Hong Kong’s richest man, Li Ka-Shing, in a deal valuing the publican at £2.7bn.
Under the terms of the acquisition, investors will receive 850p in cash for each of their shares – some 51% above its closing price the day before the announcement.
As well as the offer price, shareholders will also be able to collect their 24.4p a share dividend which is due to be paid on 13 September.