Greene King sells an ex­tra 500,000 pints dur­ing Eng­land win

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Jack Tor­rance

ENG­LAND’S record-break­ing 6-1 vic­tory over Panama on Sun­day helped Greene King sell an ex­tra 500,000 pints of beer in one day.

Rooney Anand, the pub group’s boss, said sales in some of its pubs were close to twice as high as last year as fans grabbed a drink while watch­ing the team win.

The pub boss re­fused to be drawn on how far Gareth South­gate’s squad is likely to go in the com­pe­ti­tion, adding: “I find fore­cast­ing the weather and Greene King’s for­tunes hard enough so I’m cer­tainly not go­ing to try to fore­cast Eng­land’s progress.”

But Greene King had pre­vi­ously only bud­geted for Eng­land to make it as far as the group stages, he said, mean­ing it is now due an un­ex­pected sales boost re­gard­less of whether the team tri­umphs in its sec­on­dround match next week.

The World Cup boost and the re­cent heat­wave had helped Greene King grow like-for-like sales by 2.2pc in the past eight weeks.

But Mr Anand was speak­ing af­ter the FTSE 250 com­pany re­vealed a mixed set of an­nual re­sults fol­low­ing a year of weak con­sumer con­fi­dence, ris­ing costs and tough com­pe­ti­tion.

Pre-tax prof­its rose 6.8pc to £198m in the 12 months to April 29, but mostly be­cause of higher one-off costs the year be­fore.

Ad­justed prof­its fell 11.2pc to £243m af­ter the “Beast from the East” in Fe­bru­ary and March kept drinkers at home, drag­ging rev­enues down 1.8pc to £2.2bn.

Shares in Greene King tum­bled 9pc to 581p yes­ter­day. Mr Anand said it was be­ing squeezed by a com­bi­na­tion of higher wage bills, an in­crease in the cost of sourc­ing prod­ucts, and higher taxes in­clud­ing busi­ness rates.

Greene King plans to shift fo­cus away from food sales, to­wards drinks, he added.

Sam Al­lardyce, the for­mer Eng­land man­ager, was spot­ted watch­ing last Sun­day’s game in a Greene King pub in Lon­don

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