- Pub group Greene King served up an uptick like-for-like sales as warmer weather over the Easter period helped deliver 'good' drink volume growth.

Pub Company like-for-like (LFL) sales were up 2.9%, ahead of the market, with the company reporting 'good' drink volume growth, in particular, in its Greene King local pubs, which recorded LFL sales of 4.6%.

LFL sales for the last 16 weeks were up 2.4%, which also included firmer sales of the Easter period. Easter like-for-like sales were up 4.6% against last year's Easter weekend, helped by the good weather and particularly strong trading from Chef & Brewer, which recorded LFL sales of 15.3%, the company said.

The company also showed progress in cutting debt as it repaid £393m, or 51% of the Spirit debenture.

Looking ahead, the company said it expected 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.'

'We are broadly on track to deliver our disposals programme and new builds/single site acquisitions for the year,' it added.

'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,' said CEO Rooney Anand.

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