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Greene King posts higher sales despite bad weather

The pub and brewing group expects to save £30mln from buying Spirit

Greene King reported higher own-brewed beer sales

Publican and brewer Greene King (LON:GNK) served up higher sales despite reports from rivals of a hit from wet weather.

Greene King, which has bought rival Spirit Pub Company, reported higher like-for-like (LFL) sales across its business in the 18 weeks to September 6.

LFL sales in its retail arm rose 1.3% with a 1.9% increase in the last 10 weeks. LFL sales in the Spirit managed estate lifted 0.8% in the last 18 weeks.

In its Pub Partners leased and tenanted business, LFL net income was up 2% after 16 weeks and by 1.1% in Spirit's leased estate.

The group's brewing arm boosted volume by 1.7% in the first 18 weeks of the year with higher sales of Old Speckled Hen, Greene King IPA and Abbot Ale, despite a challenge to match strong take-home sales during last year's World Cup.

It said: "Although it is still early in the process, the integration of Spirit is going well and we remain confident of generating at least £30mln of cost synergies."

The news came after Whitbread (LON:WTB) on Tuesday said its pub restaurants, including Beefeater and Brewers Fayre, increased sales by 1.7% and like-for-like sales by 0.3% for the 24 weeks, ahead of a soft pub restaurant market outside the M25.

But it blamed wet weather and people going on holiday for generally softer trading during the late summer.

Greene King declined to give details of how it had fared during the bad weather.

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