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2nd May 2023

Greene King delivers strong operational and financial performance as strategic progress continues

Financial highlights

  • The group delivered a strong financial performance against a challenging consumer and wider macroeconomic backdrop
  • This performance was driven by strategic delivery and business transformation
  • The group saw a recovery in sales, including in London, with trade returning to pre-pandemic levels by spring as Covid-19 restrictions lifted
  • The cost-of-living crisis meant that customer confidence remained depressed throughout the year
  • The Platinum Jubilee weekend, Women’s Football Euros, and Men’s Football World Cup drove event-led demand
  • The implementation of proactive measures reduced the impact of inflationary pressures and supply chain disruption on the business, including successful energy hedging and focussing on cost efficiencies
  • The group remained focused on delivering value and choice to customers against the inflationary backdrop, including adapting menus

–           Group revenue increased 62.2% to £2,176m (prior period: £1,342m) with revenue growth across all five divisions

–           Adjusted operating profit[1] of £192.6m (prior period: £18.6m) was delivered, with statutory operating profit of £249.2m (prior period: £63.8m)

–           Capex and business acquisitions of £242.3m (prior period: £144.5m) reflect a period of increased investment across the business

–           The group continued to be cash generative from operating activities, with free cash flow of £13.1m in the year (prior period: £7.2m) after significant investment

–           Successfully refinanced the group’s balance sheet by £915m, and repaid the A5 Spirit debenture and A5 Greene King securitisation bonds to maximise the strength and flexibility of the balance sheet and maintain the business’s robust capital structure

Operational highlights

–          Achieved significant progress against all the group’s key strategy drivers during the period, which are: Brands, Culture, People, Operational Excellence, Digital, Assets and Expand, and added an eighth driver: Environment and Social

–          The roll-out of proven brands continued during the year, coupled with the trialling of new formats and select acquisitions to expand and optimise the portfolio, including:

  • An investment in Hickory’s, a successful regional American-style Smokehouse brand with a significant opportunity for nationwide expansion
  • The targeted purchases of sites across the country, including premium Scottish restaurant Ubiquitous Chip by Metropolitan Pub Company
  • The creation of Venture Hotels consisting of a collection of 39 hotels which previously traded within Destination Food Brands
  • Within Local Pubs, the completion of 14 core investments in the year to establish the platform for scaled investments across 2023 – in total 105 sites benefited from capital investment in the year
  • Despite a challenging period for Destination Food Brands, a further 80 sites benefited from capital investment in the year with a big focus on gardens
  • A total of 43 sites across our Premium, Urban and Ventures estate were invested in, including seven sites transferred in from other areas of our business to optimise the trading format
  • Growing Hive Pubs, the community pub model operated by franchisees grew to 28 sites
  • Launching new premium beer brands: Flint Eye and Level Head, which are now available in pubs across the UK and in off-trade

–          Implementation of a step change in digital capabilities is ongoing, including investing £11.2m in starting to bring higher quality WiFi to all the group’s pubs

–          Announced a significant investment in Bury St Edmunds with plans for a 160,708 sq ft distribution depot for Brewing & Brands, which is due to open in summer 2023

–          Awarded Best Pub Employer (501+ employees) and Best Leased & Tenanted Pub Company (501+ sites) at the 2023 Publican Awards – the pub industry’s biggest awards event

–          Continued to support our 38,600 team members throughout the year

  • Launched the Team Member Support Scheme providing one-off grants of up to £5,000 to help our team members most in need
  • Expanded our industry-leading apprenticeship programme with 1,173 additional individuals joining the scheme, which includes offering apprenticeships for prisoners for the first time
  • Our team member engagement survey showed ‘sustainable engagement’ increased to 84%, a significant improvement from 79% previously, with a material reduction in employee turnover

Environmental, Social, and Governance

–          The group added Environment and Social as a strategy driver during the year, reflecting our increased commitment to putting environment and social purpose at the heart of the business

–          Established a governance structure that underpins our ESG programme, including a dedicated Board

–          Launched our ‘Untapping Potential’ social mobility report, pledging commitments to:

  • Support 5,000 new apprentices by 2025
  • Recruit 300 prison leavers into roles by 2025 through Releasing Potential programme
  • Support 100 interns with Special education Needs
  • Establish the first Greene King training kitchen within HMP Thameside
  • As part of our culture programme, we continued to improve inclusion and diversity across the business, creating four Employee Led Inclusion Groups sponsored by an Executive Board director, representing or as allies of race diversity, women, LGBTQ+ and disability

–          Record breaking £3m fundraising achieved in the 10th year in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, with the business becoming the largest corporate fund raiser for Macmillan

–          Completed the mapping of our carbon footprint and set a near-term target of 50% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions across scopes 1,2 and 3 by 2030 through the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) and we publicly committed to a net zero target by 2040

Looking ahead – focus on driving future growth 

–          Greene King remains confident in its ability to continue to deliver outstanding customer experiences through its balanced portfolio of compelling, profitable brands

–          We expect 2023 to be another year of significant investment focused on the continued optimisation of the core estate, improving digital capability, operational efficiency, and further progress in delivering our environmental and social commitments

–          Whilst early in the year our capital investment programme remains on track

–          We remain mindful of the significant cost pressures impacting both consumers and our business and we expect the tough environment to persist through the year

–          As previously announced, Greene King has realigned its group divisional structure for FY23, supporting its long-term brand structure, simplifying the business, and enabling the continued development of the Ventures and franchise businesses

  • Moving from five divisions to four: Greene King pubs, Destination Brands, Partnerships & Ventures, and Brewing & Brands

Nick Mackenzie, Greene King chief executive officer, said:

“Greene King delivered a strong operational and financial performance during 2022 despite the challenging macroeconomic backdrop with progress made in all our businesses. This was only made possible by our hardworking and committed team members and tenants, who I would like to thank. We also continued to invest in the business, which meant we made important strategic progress, particularly in new format and brand developments, targeted acquisitions and through driving our cultural transformation.

Looking ahead, we expect the tough backdrop to continue, and we have planned for this. We now have a stronger platform to deliver sustainable growth against a strategy that is working and with a strong balance sheet. By focusing on the things we can control and supporting  our team members and customers, we will continue to do what Greene King does so well, playing a meaningful role in supporting the communities we serve and leading the way in making our industry a better place to work.”

  1. Adjusted measures exclude the impact of adjusting items, for details see APMs on page 101.


Contact: Antonia​ Pollock, Headland,